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T)arlington Memorial Library 

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%xm$\TxUA ixm the gxtuU Mmntxx^i, 

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Eotered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1868, 

By Samuel A. Green, 

in the Clerk's office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts. 







Who were in service at some of the places mentioned in tliese 

pages, this record of a Military Campaign is affectionately 

inscribed by their Comrade and Surgeon during 

more than three years of the Great Kebellion. 


While strolling on one of the quays in Paris, in June, 1867, 1 
picked up this journal at a second-hand book stall. The owner 
knew nothing more of its previous history than that it was bought 
a few weeks before, in the province of Lorraine. It purports to 
have been written by " Conte G. de Deux Ponts," and this is fully 
confirmed by the evidence drawn from its jDages. The volume 
had apparently been prized, as it was handsomely bound in green 
morocco, and ornamented with uncommon taste. A cover or cap 
had been neatly fitted over the front of the volume, and fastened 
with a silver lock set into the binding. The key had been lost, 
and some one had torn off the cap, so that the book could be 
opened. The writing covers a hundred and fifty-two pages; and 
in the margin, which comprises half the width of the leaf, the 
writer has put occasional notes. At the end of the diary, three 
letters are copied in the handwriting of the diarist, which explain 
themselves. They bear so closely on his military history, that 
he doubtless wanted to keep them with the record of his Amer- 
ican campaigns. In these letters, the name is always written 
" Cte Guillaume des Deuxponts." 

The journal is published as it was written by the author, and it 
is meant to be a faithful copy of the manuscript in all particulars. 
The punctuation and accents are given as they are found. What- 
ever I have inserted is enclosed in brackets. When facts are 
mentioned, which have been stated by other writers, their ac- 


counts also are frequently given in foot-notes to the translation, 
and generally in their exact words. This is done to show the 
accuracy of the diarist's statements, which in the main are cor- 
roborated by these writers. 

Eeference to such notes, as well as to my own, is made by 
means of figures, to distinguish them from those of Count Wil- 
liam, which are indicated by asterisks, etc. 

There is internal evidence that the journal was written at the 
time of the events which it describes, though it was probably 
copied into the volume at a later period. From the fact that the 
date of one of the letters at the end of the volume (p. 157) is in- 
correctly given as 1783, it is not improbable that the copy was 
made at that time. 

Finding that the family of Deux-Ponts was connected with 
some of the reigning families of Central Europe, I mentioned this 
fact to Mr. George Ticknor, who is honored on both sides of the 
ocean for his scholarshiii, and he kindly offered to procure from a 
very high source in Germany, some account of the author of the 
diary. Having availed myself of this offer, I am enabled to give, 
on unquestionable authority, certain facts which wonld not have 
been accessible to me under any other circumstances. I am there- 
fore under the deepest obligation to the eminent personage who 
has furnished the account in German, from which the follow- 
ing, facts are taken. It Avas sent to Mr. Ticknor, and by him 
placed at my disposal. 

The Barons of Zweibriick or Deux-Ponts, who have now become 
extinct, were descended from Duke Christian of Zweibriick, the 
uncle of King Maximilian I., of Bavaria, and from a French 
person named Fontenay, who had been, if only for a short time, 
a danseuse, and who afterwards received the title of Baroness von 
Forbach. Whether the duke entered into a morganatic mar- 
riage with her cannot be ascertained with certainty; but the 


brother of the baroness is said to have declared sucù a marriage 
at the death of the duke, in his name. At any rate, the sons of 
this union were not admitted to the succession, so that Christian's 
nephew, Charles, the elder brother of King Maximilian, succeeded 
to the dukedom. Christian's two sons, Christian and William, at 
first bore their mother's name, and afterwards that of Barons of 

From this it appears that they were the children of a German 
father and of a French mother. Hence they were much connected 
with France ; and they married afterwards, ladies of the highest 
French aristocracy; William* married a cousin of the well-known 
Polignac, (a Polignac or a Polastron,f) and Christian, a Bethune. 

After the French Revolution both brothers lived in Bavaria. 

Baron Christian commanded the Bavarian Auxiliary Corps, at 
the unfortunate battle of Hohenlinden, in 1800, with such distinc- 
tion that, when the order of Maximilian Joseph was founded,, he 
received the Grand Cross of the order for his conduct in that bat- 
tle. He left no son, but two daughters; Eleonore, married to 
Count Gravenreuth, who finally became President for the Gov- 
ernment (Begierungs Prasidenf) at Augsburg; and Casimira, mar- 
ried, first, to Colonel Count Wittgenstein, who fell in the battle of 
Mohaisk (Borodino), and secondly, to General Count Anton Rech- 

Baron William, the author of the journal, to whom King Maxi- 
milian was especially attached, was always, as Captain of the 
Gardes du Corps,X Commandant of the Palace Guard, the so- 
called Hartschiere, a post of honor at the Bavarian Court. He 

* In March 1780, he writes in his journal, that " it was only two months since I was 
married." See page 76. 

t Prince Jules de Polignac was son of the Dulie de Polignac and of Yolande Martine 
Gabrielle de Polastron, Duchess de Polignac, the friend of Queen Marie Antoinette. 

I Called in the Almanack de Gotha one of the " Grandes Charges de la Cour." 


had two sons, Charles and Christian, both in the Bavarian service. 
The first, a distinguished cavahy officer, died of wounds received 
at the battle of Mohaisk (Borodino), and lies buried in that place. 
Christian was Adjutant to King Maximilian, and finally became, 
like his father, Captain of the Guards. He married a Countess 
Bechberg, but he died childless.* Besides these two sons. Baron 
"William had also two daughters, Arianne Baroness Celto, and 
Henriette Marquise Yirien. 

Baron William died sixteen years before his brother. 

From some manuscripts belonging to the Pennsylvania Histori- 
cal Society, I gather a few additional facts in regard to these 
brothers, as well as to their regiment. These manuscripts com- 
prise the Etats de Service of the French officers, who served in 
this country under Kochambeau, and are copies from the original 
documents in the War Department at Paris, made in June 1849, 
for the Honorable Kichard Rush, while Minister to Prance. The 
following is a translation from this sovu-ce : 

" (Royal deux Ponts.) The regiment went to North America 
and remained there during 1780, '81, '82, and '83. It had made 
the campaigns of 1757, '58, '59, '60, '61, and '62, in Germany. 

" Colonel. Count de Porbach, Marquis des Deux Ponts (Chris- 
tian) born on the 20th of October, 1752, at Deux Ponts. Rank of 
Second Lieutenant without pay, April 20th, 1768. Colonel of the 
regiment in 1775. Distinguished conduct at York. 

" Lieutenant-Colonel. Count de Porbach des Deux Pouts 
(Guillaume) born on the 18th of June, 1754, at Deux Ponts. Rank 
of Second Lieutenant in the regiment, Kovember 12th, 1778. 
Lieutenant-Colonel of this Regiment, October 2d, 1779. Wounded 
at the siege of York in 1781." 

* He married, August 4th, 1818, Caroline, Countess Rechberg; was a Cavalry Gen- 
eral In the Bavarian army, and died April 25th, 1859. She was born June 25tb, 1798, 
and is still living. Almanack de Gotha, for 1868. p. 321. 


The title of Count borne by these brothers was no doubt a 
Trench one, and was discarded when they returned to enter the 
service of their German relations. The Abbé Kobin, in his Nouveau 
Voyage dans V Amérique Septentrionale^ Philadelphie* [Paris], 1783, 
p. 129, calls him " Compte Guillaume de Deux-Ponts," and says 
that he was the Lieutenant-Colonel of the regiment " Eoyal-Deux- 
Ponts." Mr. Dawson, in his Battles of the United States, vol. i. p. 
742, speaks of him as "Count William Forbach de Deux Pouts." 
In the official letters copied at the end of the diary, the Baron de 
Viomesnil recognizes the title of Count. General Kichard Butler, 
in his diary published in the Historical Magazine, ISTew York, 1864, 
vol. viii. p. Ill, speaks of the younger brother as "Yiscount," 
and furthermore states that he was " the brother to Count Ber- 
nard Deux Ponts, who commands the elegant regiment Deux 
Ponts." This was a very natural mistake for one to make who 
was familiar only with the English system of rank. 

The name appears to be written indiscriminately de Deux-Ponts 
and des Deux-Ponts, as well as de Deuxponts and des Deuxponts. 
In speaking of the regiment in the translation, I have written it 
Deuxponts, following the manuscript. 

General Washington, in a letter dated Kew Windsor, Decem- 
ber 10th, 1780, (Sparks's Washington, vol. vii. p. 319,) speaks of the 
satisfaction he experienced in meeting some of the French officers 
and says that he " unfortunately missed seeing the Count de Deux- 
ponts, who had left my quarters on his way to Philadelphia, be- 

* It la a curious fact in bibliography that during the period of the American Revolu- 
tion, It was not uncommon for books published in Paris to bear the imprint of Boston 
or Philadelphia, even when there was no publishing-house in those places, mentioned 
on the title-page. Generally such books related to America, but this was not always 
the case. These towns had a wide reputation in Europe, from their connection with 
the Revolution, and it may have been thought that by doiug this the sale of the books 
would be helped. 


fore I arrived at tliem. I however flatter myself that I shall have 
the pleasure of seeing him on his return." General Heath, in his 
Memoirs, p. 271, says that January 13th, 1781, " the Marquis de la 
Fayette and Count Deuxponts visited West Point." These allu- 
sions probably refer to the elder brother, of whom mention is 
made several times in these pages, as we do not learn from the 
diary that its writer was absent from the French army at this 

Mr. Lossing, in his Pictorial Field Book, vol. ii. p. 515, speaks of 
" Count William Deuxponts " as one of the most distinguished 
colonels of the French regiments, and gives a likeness of him 
copied from a portrait in Trumbull's picture* in the rotunda of 
the Capitol at Washington, representing the surrender of Corn- 

In Renwick's Life of Count Bum/ord, (Sparks's American Biog- 
raphy, vol. V. p. 62,) an allusion is made to "Prince Maximilian of 
Deux-Ponts, afterwards King of Bavaria," as having just returned 
from America, where he had served in the army of Rochambeau, 
and had been present at the surrender of Cornwallis; and, in a 
note, it is added that " his portrait is to be seen in TrumbulFs 
Picture of the Capitulation of Yorktown, in the Rotunda of the 
Capitol." Professor Renwick confounds Prince Maximilian de 
Deux-Ponts with one of the brothers who served in this country. 
He probably refers to the elder one; and, if so, his statement about 
the portrait is at variance with that of Mr. Lossing. 

Colonel Trumbull, in his Reminiscences, gives a record of his 
journey in 1786, from Paris to the Rhine. In speaking of St. Em- 
bright, he says, on page 123, " In this vicinity is the palace of the 
Duke de Deuxponts, prince of this country, and cousin of Maxi- 

* The portraits of the French officers in this picture were painted from life, in the 
house of Mr. Jefierson at Paris, in 17S7. Trumbull's jBemijmcences, p. 408. 


milian Deuxponts, colonel of the regiment royal Allemand, one 
of the four superb infantry regiments who served in America, 
under Count Eochambeau; this residence appears to be fine and 
finely situated. The Count Maximilian was made King of Bava- 
ria by Napoleon; . . " 

This account is partly correct, but the name of the Colonel, as 
officially given, was Christian only; and the assertion that the 
Colonel of the regiment became King of Bavaria is of course a 
mistake. It might be supposed that Colonel Trumbull would not 
have fallen into the error, as he must have been personally ac- 
quainted with one of the brothers Deux-Ponts, if one sat for the 
portrait in tlie picture of the surrender of Cornwallis; but the 
final sentence must obviously have been founded on an inference 
from EuroiDcan news which reached America long after Colonel 
Trumbull's return home. 

It is clear that Count William distinguished himself at the siege 
of Yorktown, more eminently perhaps than his brother, and all 
contemporaneous accounts speak in high terms of his conduct at 
the capture of the redoubts on the night of the 14th of October. 
Lieutenant-Colonel Tarleton, of the British Legion, in his account 
of the siege (History of the Campaigns of 1780 and 1781. DubUn, 
1787, p. 386,) mentions this assault, and says that Count William 
was " amongst the foremost of the assailants." This, coming from 
a British officer, would show that his bravery was conspicuous. 
The assault was one of the most important events of the siege, and 
it would not have been inappropriate to represent, in the histori- 
cal painting one who took a prominent part in it, for which reason 
I lean to Mr. Lossing's statement. 

In a codicil to his will. Dr. Franklin bequeaths a crab-tree walk- 
ing-stick to General Washington, and says, "If it were a sceptre, 
he has merited it and would become it. It was a present to me 
from that excellent woman, Madame de Forbach, the Dowager 


Duchess of Deux-Ponts, connected with some verses which should 
go with it." Life of Benjamin Franklin. Boston, 1857, p. 609. This 
was the mother of the diarist, though she was never the Dowager 
Duchess of Deux-Ponts. 

The town of Deux-Ponts (German Zweihruckeii) from which the 
family name comes, is situated on the Erbach, near its confluence 
with the Serre, fifty miles west of Spires. Formerly it was the 
capital of a duchy of the same name, governed by its own lords, 
and afterwards passed successively into the power of Sweden 
and Bavaria. The old ducal palace, formerly one of the finest 
in Germany, was in a great measure destroyed by the French, 
and part of it has been converted into a Eoman Catholic church. 
The town derives its name from two bridges which here cross 
the Erbach. The well-known Bipontine edition of the classics 
was published at Deux-Ponts. 

The territory of Deux-Ponts was in'the possession of the Counts 
Palatine of the Khine, (not identical with the Electors Palatine,) 
as early as the fourteenth century. During the two following cen- 
turies the Deux-Ponts line of that family became subdivided into 
five branches, and in 1654, the head of the main branch was elect- 
ed King of Sweden. In the eighteenth century, however, several 
of these lines became extinct; that of Deux-Ponts-Birkenfeld 
inherited from the rest, and, while they still remained Counts 
Palatine, their chief was made a duke. 

The father of the diarist was Christian, Count Palatine and 
Duke of Deux-Ponts-Birkenfeld, but he died in 1775, leaving no 
recognized children, and his dukedom passed to his two nephews 
successively, Charles Augustus, (&. 1746, d. 1795,) and Maximilian, 
(&. 1756, d. 1825.) 

Maximilian became in 1799, Elector, and in 1805, King of Bava- 
ria; and we then find Duke William of Bavaria, the husband of 
the king's sister, become Duke of Deux-Ponts, which title now 


rests with his grandson, Duke Maximilian, the father of the Em- 
press of Austria, and of the Ex-Queen of Naples. 

It was among these persons, in the last generation, that Chris- 
tian and William de Forbach des Deux-Ponts passed their early 
and later years, as relatives of inferior birth, but on terms of kind- 
ness, esteem, and honor. 

The accession of the Deux-Ponts family to the inheritance of 
Bavaria was due to a rule of succession, settled at Pavia in 1329, 
between Louis the Bavarian, Emperor of Germany — ancestor of 
the Bavarian house which became extinct in 1777 — and his 
nephews. Under this rule, Charles Theodore, Elector Palatine, 
took possession of Bavaria in 1777. 

In the following year he made a convention with Austria, which 
would have alienated Bavaria again from this house, he having 
no children; but Charles Augustus, who had already succeeded 
his uncle Christian, as Duke of Deux-Ponts, made good, with the 
help of the King of Prussia, his claim as heir presumptive. He 
died before the elector, but his right passed to his brother Maxi- 
milian, who, as we already know, became King of Bavaria, and 
who was the father of King Louis I., of the present Queen of 
Saxony, of the Dowager Queens of Saxony and Prussia, and of 
the Archduchess Sophia, mother of the Emperor of Austria. 

From all the different sources that I have quoted, I gather the 
following outlines of the diarist's life. He was born at Deux- 
Ponts, June 18th, 1754, and entered his brother's regiment, in the 
French army, in 1778. At this time his father had been dead 
three years. Early in 1780, he married a French lady of high 
birth, and came shortly afterwards to this country in Eochambeau's 
army; while here, he wrote most of thejournal which is now pub- 
lished. At the siege of Yorktown, where he was wounded, he 
distinguished himself by his bravery, and was mentioned particu- 
larly in the official report made by the Baron de Viomesnil to the 


Count de Eocliambeau. For liis gallantry on this occasion, lie was 
made by the King of France a Chevalier of the Military Order of 
St. Louis. 

Nothing more seems to be known of him or of his brother, 
until the French Kevolution obliged them to return to Germany, 
when they entered the service of Bavaria. 

The diarist held a post of honor at the Court and near the 
person of the king, which he retained during his life, and which 
his son received afterwards. His brother, Christian, was his 
senior by two years, and survived him sixteen years, though I do 
not know the exact date of the death of either. 

I ofler no apology for publishing ajournai, which gives interest- 
ing and valuable facts connected with the American Kevolution. 
Anything that throws light on the events of that period is impor- 
tant, and ought to be preserved. History is made up of the deeds 
of individuals, and sometimes the best insight into the motives 
and consequences of those deeds is gained from the humblest 

In conclusion, I would return my thanks to many friends for 
services rendered in many ways. By such help the work of pre- 
paring the manuscript for the press has been in a great meas- 
ure lessened. 

S. A. G. 

Boston, September 1, 1868. 





C'est au commencement de l'année 1780 que le Roy se 
détermina a envoyer des troupes au secours des états unis 
de l'Amérique Septentrionale, on n'en déclara pas le dessein, 
on prit au contraire toutes les précautions imaginables pour 
cacher l'objet auquel on destinoit les troupes qui alloient 
recevoir l'ordre de s'embarquer, et les regiments de Neustrie, 
Bourbonnois, Soisonnois, Saint Onge, Anhalt, Royal Deux- 
ponts, un bataillon D'Artillerie et la legion de Lauzun, des- 
tinés a cette expedition, quittèrent les cantonnemens dans 
les quels on les avoit placés après la fin de l'inutile campagne 
de 1779; dans l'ignorance la plus parfaite du pays dans 
lequel on alloit les transporter. 

Le Marquis de la Fayette possedoit seul a cet égard, le 
secret de l'état, c'est lui qui fut chargé de notifier notre 
arrivée en Amérique et son départ qui précédoit le notre 
ne put nous instruire et nous faire connaître notre sort que 
nous croyons très indépendant du sien, parceque sa qualité 
de Major General au service des eiats unis rendoit son 
retour dans ces contrées, simple et même nécessaire. 

A la fin du mois de Février, émanèrent du bureau de la 
guerre, les ordres de départ pour les regiments qui compo- 


soient notre petite armée, et je reçus dans les premiers jours 
de Mars, celui d'etre rendu le 15 du même mois a Lander- 
nau ou le regiment de Royal Deuxponts hyvernoit ; il n'y avoit 
pas deux mois que j'etois marié, que j'avois uni mon sort et 
même mon cœur, a une femme que j'aimois tendrement. 
J'avouerai franchement que le premier sentiment que cet 
ordre me fit éprouver, ne fut pas celui du plaisir et 
je ne cacherai pas ici, la peine, la peiné bien réelle 
que me causoit ma separation d'avec ma femme ; le com- 
bat de la tendre amitié et du devoir ne fut cependant pas 
long, le dernier l'emporta, il n'éprouva que la resistance 
d'un coeur sensible et il n'en éprouva qu' assez pour lui don- 
ner la gloire d'une victoire toujours certaine sur une ame 
qui connoit les droits de l'honneur ; ma resolution enfin ne 
pouvoit être douteuse, mais ma presence n'étant pas très 
nécessaire a Landernau avant le mois D'Avril fixé pour 
l'embarquement des troupes, je demandai la permission de 
n'y arriver que le 31 Mars, les difficultés que le Ministre 
opposa a mes désirs, furent vaincues par les sollicitations 
remplies d'amitié et d'intérêt de la Comtesse de Linanges 
et elle [1'] obtint pour moi; j'embrassai ma pauvre mere 
le 27, et je quittai ma femme le 28 du mois de Mars; 
les adieux trop tendres deviennent dechirans et mon 
coeur l'éprouva; je partis. Quelques larmes, beaucoup 
de réflexions sur ce que j'abandonnois, sur ce que j'allois 
devenir, et sur la gloire que je pourrois peut être acquérir, 
occupèrent le tems de mon voyage. J'arrivai a Landernau 
le 31, j'y trouvai l'ordre de nous embarquer le 4 D'Avril, 
j'y appris la fâcheuse nécessité dans la quelle on etoit de 
laisser les regiments de Neustrie et D'Anhalt en France, 
faute de moyens de les embarquer, et nous quittâmes Lan- 
dernau le 4 D'Avril. 


le regiment de Royal Deuxponts est arrivé le même jour 
a Brest et s'est embarqué a bord de L'Eveillé de 64 canons, 
de la Venus de la Comtesse de Noailles, de la Loire et 
de VEcureuil il a commencé l'embarquement de touts 
les regiments destinés a servir sous les ordres de Monsieur 
le Comte de Rochambeau, il a été suivi le lendemain 5 
Avril par la legion de Lauzun, le 6 par le regiment de Soi- 
sonnois le 8 par le regiment de Bourbonnois, le 10 par le 
regiment de St. Onge et l'artillerie qui devoit terminei 
l'embarquement des troupes, est entrée le 11 Avril dans ses 

Les Officiers Généraux, [les] aides de camp &[c] ont 
tous été embarqués le 14 Avril; le 15 le vent [étant] assez 
favorable engagea M le Chevalier de Ternay, commandant 
de notre escadre, a ordonner le départ du convoi qui devoit 
précéder d'un jour celui des vaisseaux de guerre. Le con- 
voi appareilla et alla mouiller dans la rade de Berthaume ; 
le 16 au matin, le General ordonna a l'escadre de desaffour- 
cher, de virer a pic, et au moment d'appareiller le vent 
changea et nous força de rester dans la rade de Brest, le 
vent devint même si violent que le convoi fut obligé de ren- 
trer le lendemain dans la rade de Brest. 

A compter du 1 7 Avril le vent fut constamment contraire, 
il nous força a l'inaction et ce n'est que le 2 Mai a cinq 
heures du matin que nous avons pu mettre a la voile. Notre 
flotte a cette époque etoit camposée du Duc de Bourgog7ie de 
80 canons, du Neptune de 74 du Conquérant de 74, de 
L'Eveillé, du Jason, de la Provence et de Varient de 64, des 
fregattes la Bellone V Amazone et la Surveillante des cutter,s 
la Guêpe, et le Serpent et de trente six batimens de Trans- 
port, le tout formant quarante huit voiles. 

le 5 Mai a deux heures après midi, la frégatte la Bellone 


quitta l'escadre, pour retourner en France, notre route jus- 
ques la, a été fort lente et entièrement dépourvue d'evene- 
mens, et nous nous n'avions depuis trois jours et demi que 
nous naviguions, parcouru que 50 lieues; Au moment du 
départ de la fregatte la Bellone, le vaisseau commandant a 
fait le signal de régler l'eau, ce signal nous fait présumer 
une traversée longue, et augmente encore l'incertitude de 
nos conjectures sur le lieu de notre destination; je crois 
cependant que l'intention de Monsieur de Ternay en faisant 
ce signal, a été de persuader la Bellone de la longueur de 
notre route, pour que son rapport trompe de plus en plus la 
curiosité des politiques. 

Le 9 Mai a cinq heures du matin, nous avons vu et 
reconnu le Cap Ortegal, situé dans la province de Galice, 
nous avons été a vue de terre jusqu' a neuf heures du matin. 
Le Ciel s'embruma tout a coup et le vent s'éleva avec tant 
de violence et de promptitude, que nous avons été obligés 
de mettre a la cape avec la plus grande precipitation, La 
Provence a eue son petit mat de hune et son grand mat du 
Perroquet brisé [s] par le vent, plusieurs autres vaisseaux 
ont souffert, entre autres, le Neptune, dont le Mat du Perro- 
quet de fougue a été cassé ; la Provence a fait peu de moments 
après son accident, le signal que son avarie'^ ne pouvoit pas 
se reparer a la mer ; le vent a continué pendant toute la 
journée avec la même impétuosité. 

Le 10. la violence du vent s'est soutenue jusqu'à cinq 
heures du soir, un vent frais de Nord Ouest nous a permis a 
cette heure la, de quitter la cape et de remettre a la voile. 

Du 10 au 15 Mai, le vent nous a continuellement été con- 

* cette même avarie fut reparée quatre jours après en deux heures 
de tems. 


traire et nous avons employé tout ce tems la, a courir des 
bords, trop heureux de pouvoir nous maintenir dans notre 
position et de ne pas perdre du cliemin que nous avons déjà 

Le 15 au matin, le vent nous est devenu entièrement favor- 
able et nous a permis ce même jour de doubler le cap Finis- 
terre. Le Cutter le Serpent a été renvoyé en Europe pour 
y porter la nouvelle de notre décapement. Le Vent de 
Nord Est s'est soutenu avec constance, et le 21 nous avons 
doublé risle de Madère, la laissant a peu prés a 50 lieues 
a l'est. 

Du 21 Mai au trois de Juin le tems a été constamment 
beau et le vent favorable, mais la plupart du tems trop foible 
pour faire une route considerable ; les airs de vent auxquels 
on a governé pend* tout ce tems la, n'ont pu nous éclairer 
sur notre destination, ils nous dirigeoient également vers 
l'amerique Septentrionale et vers les Antilles, le 3, l'es- 
cadre étant en panne et la mer belle. Le C'*^ de Damas, 
mon frère et moi, avons été a bord du Duc de Bourgogne, 
faire une visite a M'^ le Comte de Rochambeau qui nous 
a annoncé que nous faisions route pour L'amerique Septentri- 

Le 8 de Juin, M"" le Comte de Rochambeau, nous a fait 
parvenir dans nos vaisseaux respectifs, nos instructions de 
débarquement, la forme de notre service et l'ordre des rangs 
a observer vis a vis des troupes des états unis de l'amerique. 

le 11 de Juin, les fregattes la Surveillante et l'Amazone 
ont pris après huit heures de chasse, une caiche angloise 
venant de Hallifax. 

le 1 8 de Juin nous avons doublé la Bermude, Nord et Sud, 
la laissant a peu prés soixante lieues Nord ; les fregattes la 
Surveillante et l'Amazone ont pris le même jour un brique 


anglois, montant douze canons qui venoit du siege de Charles 
Town, que les Anglois ont pris sur les états unis de l'Amé- 
rique, le 8 de Mai après un siege de six semaines, ce bâti- 
ment nous en a appris la nouvelle certaine, il avoit a son 
bord cinq officiers du éG'""™® regiment qui venoient de 
Charles Town et alloient a la Barbade. Il a pris notre 
escadre pour une escadre Angloise que l'on attend a la 
Nouvelle Angleterre et il ne s'est douté de son erreur qu'au 
moment ou les pavillons François, l'ont forcé d'amener le 

le 20 de Juin, on signala dans un très grand eloignement 
six voiles au vent a nous, il etoit alors a peu prés midi et 
demi. Les Vaisseaux, le Neptune et l'Éveillé, reçurent 
aussitôt l'ordre signalé de chasser en tenant le vent, et 
l'ordre verbal* de faire peu de voiles ; nous arborâmes 
aussitôt pavillon Anglois, nous nous mimes en chasse, une 
demie heure après nous vimes que les batimens chasBoient sur 
nous, et nous jugeâmes facilement que c'etoient des batimens 
de guerre ; la distance qui nous separoit etoit trop conside- 
rable pour pouvoir connaître leur force, mais nous jugeâmes 
de leur nation, par la sécurité avec la quelle ils venoient au 
devant du pavillon Anglois. Ils chassoient tous, mais sans 
ordre, laissant entre eux des distances considerables, et 
nous vimes dés lors, un de ces vaisseaux se séparer des 
autres et porter sur notre convoi qui continuoit sa route 
avec nos cinq autres vaisseaux, que etoient par consequent 

* Nous passions a poupe du General, l'orsqu' ou nous cria cet ordre 
verbal par un porte voix, notre Capitaine, repondit deux fois qu' il 
n'entendoit pas, parcequ' il vouloit que cet ordre fut signalé; a la 
troisième repetition, l'Eveillé se trouvoit si prés du Duc de Bourgogne 
que Mr de Tilli ne pouvoit plus faire la sourde oreille, et il fut obligé 
d'obéir sans signal. 


SOUS le vent a nous. A trois heures, l'Officier de quart vint 
nous avertir que les voiles que nous chassions, etoient cinq 
vaisseaux de ligne et une fregatte le Neptune que etoit un peu 
de l'avant, en fit le signal a notre escadre et notre vaisseau le 
répéta. Nous étions a table, cette nouvelle nous fit quitter 
notre diner pour laisser faire le branlebas, et pour nous 
preparer au combat ; une demie heure après, nos deux vais- 
seaux se trouvèrent a la grande portée du canon, d'un vais- 
seau de 74 canons et de la fregatte ennemie, qui devançoient 
d'une demie lieue a peu prés la reste de leur escadre. La 
fregatte hissa un pavillon espagnol qui devoit servir de signal 
de reconnoissance, et au quel nous n'avions pas de ré- 
ponse a faire ; le vaisseau et la fregatte jugèrent notre silence, 
mirent en panne, et nous, nous* virâmes de bord, pour rejoin- 
dre notre escadre qui sur le signal du Neptune, s'etoit 
séparée du convoi, et venoit vent devant et toutes voiles 
dehors, a notre appui. A cinq heures du soir, nos sept vais- 
seaux se trouvèrent en ligne de bataille, les anglois avoient 
formé la leur, a l'exception du vaisseau qui s'etoit détaché de 
son escadre, qui avoit vivement chassé notre convoi, et etoit 
consequemment tombé, sous le vent, non seulement de son 
escadre, mais de la notre, de manière a être certaine de le 
couper, si M'" de Ternay avoit voulu profitter de notre avan- 
tageuse position. L'Escadre Françoise dont le Neptune avoit 
la tête, le chassa, mais le Chevalier de Ternay faisoit a tous 

* Nous virâmes de bord, sans que le Duc de Bourgogne nous en ait 
fait le signal, je ne concevrai ni n'approuverai jamais cette Manoeuvi'e 
de Mr Destouches, si nous avions engagé le vaisseau de 74 canons qui 
se trouvoit a notre portée ; nous aurions a la vérité eu a combattre 
avec nos deux vaisseaux quatre vaisseaux ennemis ; mais une demie 
heure après ces quatre vaisseaux Anglois eussent été foundroyés par 
sept vaisseaux François. 


moments le signal aux vaisseaux de tête de diminuer de 
voiles, et donna le tems au vaisseau ennemi de serrer le vent 
et de s'y élever* L'Escadre Angloise avoit le vent sur la 
notre et couroit sur la même paralelle, a cinq heures et 
demi[e] nous arborâmes pavillon Francois, les ennemis his- 
sèrent aussitôt celui de leur nation, et a six heures moins un 
quart; notre vaisseau commandant, fit le signal au vaisseau 
de tête de commencer le combat. Au même instant, le 
vaisseau Anglois séparé, se trouvant assez élevé au vent, vira 
de bord vent devant, passa en revue devant toute l'escadre 
Françoise, reçut toutes nos bordées, repondit a toutes celles 
que nous lui envoyons et regagna par cette manoeuvre 
hardie et habile la queue de sa ligne. Le combat s'enga- 
gea et fut pendant vingt minutes vif et suivi. Le Cheva- 
lier de Ternay pour se rapprocher de l'ennemi fit le signal a 
notre escadre de virer vent arrière par la contremarche, la 
cannonade recommença une grand distance; les Anglois 
tinrent le veut, s'éloignèrent peu a peu de nous, et la nuit 
tomba un quart d'heure après la fin de notre combat. 
L'Escadre Angloise etoit composée de deux vaisseaux de 74 
canons, deux de 64 et un de 50, la fregatte Angloise pouvoit 
être de 32 canons. Tout notre convoi resta rassemblé a une 
demie lieu[e] sous le vent a nous et etoit guardé par les 
fregattes l'Amazone et la Surveillante. Notre Combat a duré 
en tout, à compter du premier coup de canon jusqu'au dernier, 
a peu prés cinq quarts d'heure. Nous avons allumé nos feux 
et les avons conservé pendant toute la nuit ; les Anglois 

* La Mémoire de Mr de Ternay ne sera jamais a l'abri du reproche 
que mérite sa conduite dans cette circonstance, qui auroit due le 
couvrir de gloire. S'il avoit l'ordre de ne pas combattre, il ne devoit 
pas commencer le combat, s'il en avoit la liberté, il devoit tirer parti 
de ses avantages et cela n'etoit pas difficile. 


n'avoient pas les leurs, si c'est une preuve de notre victoire, 
il faut avouer qu'elle est bien foible. 

Le 21. La Surveillante a pris un gros bateau auglois 
chargé de bois, venant de Savannah, il a assuré que le 8 de 
ce mois il avoit encore vu l'Amiral Arbuthnot devant Charles 
Town, mais n'ayant avec lui que des fregattes (parceque les 
vaisseaux de ligne ne peuvent pas passer la barre de Charles 
Town) cela nous fait croire a tous que l'escadre' que nous 
avons combattu[e] hier, est celle D'Arbuthnot venant de 
Hallifax et allant rejoindre son General. Nous sommes 
d'autant plus fondés a croire que l'escadre ennemie etoit 
commandée par un simple Capitaine de vaisseau, que nous 
n'avons point remarqué de pavillon de distinction a aucun 
de leurs vaisseaux.* Nous jugeons que ces cinq vaisseaux 
etoient le Robuste et le Russel de 74 canons, l'Europa et 
le Raisonnable de 64, et le Renown de 50. 

Du 21 Juin au 4 Juillet notre route a souvent été contra- 
riée par des calmes ou des vents contraires, il y a eu de l'er- 
reur dans l'estimation de la longitude, a bord de tous nos 
vaisseaux, tous les points etoient de l'avant des navires, ce 
qui nous a fait souvent sonder sans trouver fonds. 

le 4 Juillet a dix heures et demie du matin, on signala 
une voile, que le Chevalier de Ternay fit aussitôt chasser par 
les fregattes l'Amazone et la Surveillante ; le Duc de Bour- 
gogne, fit le signal qu'il rendoit sa manoeuvre indépendante 
et appuya lui même la chasse des deux fregattes. Le bati- 

* Nous avons appris trois mois après que cette escadre étoit com- 
mandée par le Capitaine Cornwallis, venant de la Jamaïque dont il 
avoit debouqué un convoi, qu' elle y retournoit, et que les cinq 
vaisseaux qui la composoient, sont if[e] Hector et le Sultan de 74 
canons, le Lion et le Bubis de 64, le Bristol de 30 et la fregatte le 
Mger de 32 canons. 


ment chassé etoit un gros bateau armé, fort bon marcheur ; 
il n'amena pavillon qu'après plusieurs coups de canons a 
boulets tirés sur lui ; il fut cependant pris et amariné a deux 
lieurcs, et nous jugeâmes, nous sachant prés de la côte 
D'Amérique, que ce navire etoit une mouche Angloise desti- 
née a nous observer; a deux heures et demie, l'Amazone 
signala qu' elle avoit trouvé fonds a soixante brasses, une 
heure après, le Conquérant signala fonds a quinze brasses 
et a quatre heures l'Eveillé le trouva a treize brasses, il n'y 
avoit plus a douter de notre proximité de la terre, et le 
bateau pris affirma que nous n'étions qu'a dix lieues a l'Est 
du cap Henri un des caps de la Baye de Chesapeack; 
l'Escadre mit en panne et le signal de faire servir, fut suivi 
immédiatement par celui de nous preparer a mouiller, a 
six heures et un quart, ordre de mouiller, qui fut révoque le 
moment d'après, a six heures et demi[e] la Surveillante sig- 
nala deux voiles ; le General fit aussitôt le signal du branle 
bas general, nous fumes un peu étonnés de la promptitude 
de cet ordre mais l'instant d'après, le Duc de Burgogne sig- 
nala neuf voiles, et un autre vaisseau [en signala] onze, 
cela nous parut un peu plus sérieux nous commençâmes mes 
compagnons de voyage et moi a calculer les probabilités ; 
nous nous rappellames que l'Amiral Graves avec une forte 
escadre avoit du appareiller des ports D'Angleterre en 
môme tems que nous, ou nous suivre de prés, que cette esca- 
dre sans convoi, marchant mieux que nous, devoit être 
arrivée a sa destination, qu'elle pouvoit être jointe a Arbuth- 
not et que ces deux escadres reunies croisoient vraisembla- 
blement en attendant notre arrivée, le petit bâtiment pris, 
ne nous parut plus alors qu'un espion, dont M"" de Ternay 
moyennant cinquante toises ou cinquante coups de bâton 
avoit tiré la vérité du Capitaine, et le signal de virer vent 


devant toutes voiles dehors, l'avertissement que le General 
alloit indiquer des fausses routes pour la nuit,* cinq fausses 
routes qui parurent le moment d'après et par un de nos 
batimens légers, envoyé pour reconnaître,' nous persuad- 
èrent a tous, que les batimens apperçus etoient Arbutlinot et 
Graves très supérieurs et très a craindre. Le soleil baissoit 
je ne vis que cinq des voiles signalées, la nuit se ferma nous 
commençâmes a dix heures nos fausses routes qui furent 
très bien exécutées, a minuit et demi cinq coups de canon, 
firent passer cinq boulets entre les mats du Duc de Bour- 
gogne, ils nous firent croire que l'ennemi nous avoit joint, 
que nous ne lui échapperions pas le lendemain matin, et 
nous passâmes notre nuit dans les préparatifs et l'attente 
d'un combat, dont l'issue ne nous paroissoit pas [de] couleur 
de rose, je pris cependant le parti de me coucher, il est plus 
sage de dormir que de rêver a un combat naval ou il n'y 
avoit rien a gagner ; je me reveillai a trois heures et demi[e] 
mon premier soin fut de demander si nous avions l'ennemi 
sur le bras, on me repondit qu'on ne voyoit que deux bati- 
mens étrangers, je regardai et je vis deux fregattes ennemies 

* Touts ces signaux etoient bien plutôt une fuite lionteuse qu'une 
manoeuvre prudente, jamais on ne pouvoit en mer, mieux peindre la 
peur, et j'ai vu avec douleur ce triste coup de pinceau de Monsieur de 
Ternay ; il n'a même pas eu assez de presence d'esprit pour envoyer a 
la reconnoissance des batimens signalés, la Surveillante et l'Eveillé 
marchent cependant assez supérieurement pour avoir pu remplir cet 
objet, sans craindre de les compromettre, on auroit vu, on lui auroit 
rendu compte, et notre Amiral eut appris qu'il etoit le maitre de 
s'emparer de deux vaisseaux de 44 canons, quatre fregattes et un 
convoi qui composoieut ces voiles apperçues et qui lui ont donné tant 
de craintes, ce n'est que quatre mois après, que nous l'avons sue, il 
eut été heureux de ne pas manquer une pareille occasion, mais, quand 
on a peur, on n'y voit pas si bien. 


au milieu de notre convoi, qui mettoient toutes voiles dehors 
pour s'éloigner ; taut mieux pensois-je en moi mène. Nos 
fregattcs, et les vaisseaux qui se trouvoient a portée de M' 
de Ternaj, lui demaudoient avec instance, la permission de 
chasser, mais il n'osa pas l'accorder avant que le soleil eut 
assez éclairé l'horizon pour être sur qu'il n'y avoit pas de 
forces supérieures a craindre, a cinq heures du matin il en 
fut convaincu, il fit signal a nos fregattes de chasser les fre- 
gattes ennemies, et appuya lui même la chasse qui dura jus- 
qu'à une heure après midi, sans avoir pu joindre les fregattes 
ennemies dont la marche etoit supérieure, et qui pour échap- 
per j)lu3 sm-ement, avoient fait le sacrifice de quelques uns 
de leurs canons, qu'elles avoient jetés a la mer. L'Escadre 
et le convoi ayant continué leur route au même air de vent 
que les batimens chasseurs, nous fumes tous rejoints a trois 
heures, nous mimes en panne ; le General ordonna a tous les 
vaisseaux et fregattes d'envoyer a l'ordre, et déclara qu' il 
conduisoit l'escadre a Boston ou a Rhode Island. L'enseigne 
du vaisseau envoyé a l'ordi-e raconta a son retour, a tout le 
monde, sous le secret, que le General avoit vu la veille onze 
voiles, et que d'après les informations prises, il etoit certain 
qu'elles formoient une escadre Angloise composée de sept 
vaisseaux de ligne, le London de 98 canons et six vaisseaux 
de 74 canons. 

Le grand nombre de nos malades et la fatigue que nous 
éprouvons de 27 jours passés dans la rade de Brest et de 
soixante six jours en mer, nous font désirer d'éviter la ren- 
contre des forces dont nous sommes menacés; les ennemis, 
partis en môme tems que nous, peuvent être déjà rafraîchis 
et reposés de leur traversée qui debarasée d'un convoi doit 
avoir été bien plus courte que la notre. 

Dans la nuit du cinq au six Juillet nous avons perdu le 


bâtiment pris le quatre de ce mois, son mat de beaupré cassé, 
l'a fait rester en arrière et sa conservation n'etoit pas assez 
importante pour retarder la marche de l'escadre et du 

Le sept de Juillet, le Chevalier de Ternay a fait venir a 
son bord tous les capitaines des vaisseaux et [des] fregattes 
de l'escadre et a déclaré après un court conseil de guerre 
tenu avec eux, qu'il nous conduisoit a Ehode Island ; On a 
refuté la nouvelle dite le cinq sui* la force de l'escadre 
angloise, qu'on cro[yo]it avoir apperçu[e] le 4 au soir; 
j'approuve fort cette refutation que je crois destinées a 
encourager nos equipages, mais je n'en suis pas moins per- 
suadé que la premiere nouvelle est vraie, et nous nous atten- 
dons tous a combattre avant notre arrivée a terre. 

Du sept au neuf Juillet le tems a été très brumeux, l'on 
a cependant a force de soins et de signaux conservé l'escadre 
et le convoi, a l'exception de la gabarre l'isle de France qui 
s'est écartée et nous manque dans ce moment ci. Le 9 a 
six heures du matin, on a trouvé fonds a quarante brasses ; 
l'incertitude de notre eloignement de la terre et l'impossibi- 
lité de la voir, engagèrent le Chevalier de Ternay a faire 
mouiller la flotte a midi, a deux heures le tems s'est eclaii-ci 
et a trois heures nous avons appareillé ; très peu de tems 
après on a signalé terre, mais on ne put la reconnaître, 
nous nous en sommes approchés jusqu'à sept heures du soir ; 
nous vimes a cette heure la, arriver une chaloupe américaine 
que le General fit venir a son bord, et nous apprîmes que 
la terre découverte etoit l'isle de Nomann nue des isles des 
bancs de Nantuket; nous mouillâmes a 9 heures du soir et 
recommençâmes notre route le dix a quatre heures du matin. 

le dix au soir nous découvrîmes encore la terre et nous 
eûmes la certitude que c'etoit la terre de Rhode Island ; 


nous passâmes la nuit a l'ancre, le 1 1 a la pointe du jour 
nous appareillâmes, la brume etoit fort épaisse, nous couri- 
ons vers la terre, et nous allions nous perdre sans quelques 
coups de canons de signaux que le navire l'Ecureuil tira 
pour nous avertir du danger, la brume s'eclaircit, nous étions 
contre la pointe Judith, nous fumes pris par un calme plat 
et forcés de mouiller; le General nous envoya un pilote 
Américain ; (le Colonel Elliot) nous remimes a la voile dans 
l'aprés midi et nous sommes entrés le onze Juillet au soir 
dans la Rade de Newport. 

Monsieur le Comte de Rochambeau a été débarqué le 
même jour et s'est occupé de l'emplacement de notre camp 
et de touts les details relatifs a sa petite armée qui ne lui 
ont permis de faire commencer le débarquement des troupes, 
que le 13 de Juillet, Les grenadiers et chasseurs qu'on a 
mis les premiers a terre, ont dés le même soir été occuper le 
camp qui nous est destiné, ils ont été suivis le 14 et le 15 
par les troupes bien portantes et le 16, le 17 le 18 et le 19 
ont été donnés au débarquement des malades ; les uns ont été 
transportés aux hôpitaux préparés a Newport, et les autres, 
a un hôpital établi a Payisquasch a douze milles de Newport. 

Le Camp occupé par l'armée Françoise a sa droite appu- 
yée prés de Newport, un peu en avant de la ville, la gauche 
touche a la mer, la legion de Lauzun est campée en avant de 
l'armée, dans une presque isle appellee le Nek. 

Nous sommes enfin arrivés au terme de notre navigation, 
et de la fatigue et de l'ennui qui en sont inseparables, le 
moment ou l'on revoit la terre après en avoir été séparé 
pend' soixante et onze jours, est doux, on ne connoit jamais 
mieux le prix du bonheur qu'après l'avoir acheté par des 
privations et des peines ; mais nous avons trop a nous occu- 
per du spectacle de l'humanité souffrante, pour jouir; le 


scorbut a fait des ravages affreux parmi nos troupes, nous 
avons perdu du monde pendant la traversée, et la grande 
quantité de nos malades, le triste état auquel plusieurs sont 
réduits, nous font craindre d'en perdre encore beaucoup. 

Nous n'avons pas éprouvé a notre débarquement l'accueil 
auquel nous nous attendions et auquel nous devions nous 
attendre, le froid et la reserve me semblent jusqu'à present 
être le caractère distinctif de la nation américaine, elle 
paroit peu portée a l'enthousiasme que l'on suppose a un 
peuple qui combat pour sa liberté et peu propre a l'inspirer, 
mais ces considerations ne changèrent rien a ma resolution, 
et m'occupent bien moins que mes reflexions sur notre posi- 
tion militaire et politique ; nous sommes bien peu nombreux 
et je prévois avec peine que nous ne pourrons pas être cette 
campagne ci, d'une grande influence, si notre seconde divi- 
sion n'arrive pas bientôt et ne nous met pas en état de faire 
naitre quelques evenemens. 

le 21 Juillet au matin, un brique destiné a porter en France 
la nouvelle de notre arrivée dans l'Amérique Septentrionale, 
est sorti du port de Rhode Island, sous l'escorte des fregattes, 
la Surveillante, l'Amazone et l'Hermione qui doivent le con- 
voyer jusqu'à une certaine distance ; La vue de plusieurs 
voiles a fait rentrer cette flotille ; les voiles découvertes se 
sont approchées et a six heures du soir, nous en avons comptés 
de la côte, vingt; dont au moins neuf vaisseaux a deux bat- 
teries. Leur silence a touts les signaux faits de la côte, n'a 
plus laissé douter qu'ils etoient Anglois. L'incertitude de 
leurs desseins et la crainte qu'ils n'ayent celui de forcer la 
passe de Rhode Island, a fait embosser nos sept vaisseaux 
de ligne et Monsieur le Comte de Rochambeau a dés le 
même soir, fait élever des batteries sur la passe du coté de 


Rhode Island,* tandis que la marine en a élevé du coté de 
Conanicut. M'' de La Valette Lieutenant Colonel du regi- 
ment de Saint Onge a été détaché a Conanicut avec cent 
cinquante hommes, et M' le C*® de Custine et moi en second 
avons été détaché avec les bataillons de grenadiers et chas- 
seurs de nos deux brigades et nous avons pris notre position 
au bord de la mer, pour prévenir de l'un et de l'autre coté 
toute tentation de descente. L'Amiral Arbuthnot a conti- 
nuellement reste en vue de la côte, jusqu'au 26 de Juillet; la 
nuit il mouilloit a la pointe de Judith, et passoit le jour sous 
voiles, croisant, tantôt a une lieue, d'autres fois a trois ou 
quatre lieues de la côte, le 26 au soir le General nous a 
ordonné de rentrer au camp de l'arniée, et la legion de 
Lauzun est venue prendre notre position. M'" le C*'' de 
Eochambeau ayant reçu avis le 24 que le G^^ Clinton faisoit 
embarquer dix mille hommes pour venir nous attaquer et 
qu'il alloit être prêt a appareiller, a détaché le second 
bataillon du regiment de Soisonnois commandé par le 
Vicomte de Noailles et l'a porté sur Conanicut ou il a été 
renforcé de milices Américaines ; mais la difficulté de garder 
L'Isle de Conanicut qui est abordable de touts les cotés, a 
engagé M^ de Rochambeau a l'abandonner aux enterprises 
de l'ennemi, et il a fait rentrer le 27 de Juillet, le Bataillon 

* Les batteries élevées du coté de Ehodisland, n'etoient que de 
pieces de douze, notre gros canon et nos mortiers n'avoient point 
encore été débarqués, et l'on peut aisément juger que ces batteries 
n'eussent pas été d'un gi-and effet contre des vaisseaux de ligue, a cette 
époque la moitié de notre armée etoit malade il n'y avoit aucun point 
de débarquement reconnu et aucune marche ouverte. Notre position 
n'eut point été aisée si nous avions eu affaire a un ennemi hardi et 


Les avis donnés de l'intention du General Clinton de nous 
attaquer, ont été confirmés par ceux que le General' Wash- 
ington a fait parvenir a M"" de Rochambeau, que a en conse- 
quence convoqué les milices de l'état de Rhode Island a 
fait reparer toutes les redoutes construites par les Anglois 
(l'orsqu'ils etoient les maîtres de notre Isle) il en a augmenté 
la defense, en ajoutant de nouveaux ouvrages a ceux qui 
etoient déjà construits, et a fait ouvrir des marches sur tous 
les points possibles de débarquement. 

Le 12 D'Aoust nous avons appris que des mouvemens que 
le.G^^ Washington a fait pour s'approcher de New York, ont 
fait renoncer Clinton a ses projets sur nous. Le G'^' Wash- 
ington s'est porté a Pompton a seize milles de Staten Island. 
Le G**^ Clinton avoit fait embarquer ses troupes dans la baye 
de Huntington il avoit même mis a la voile et s'etoit porté 
jusqu'à la hauteur de New London et ce n'est qu' alors qu' 
il a changé ses projets. 

Dans la journée du 1 9 Aoust, il a paru vingt batimens 
entre Block Island et la pointe Judith, que l'on croit être un 
convoi portant deux mille Anglois, destinés a faire une ex- 
pedition sur le continent pour l'approvisionnement de New 

Le 27 Aoust nous avons appris que vingt six voiles 
Angloises etoient devant l'Isle de Marthas Vyuiard, et il 
n'est pas douteux que ce sont les même voiles que nous 
avons vu le 19. 

Du 27 Aoust au 18 Septembre aucuns évenemens ni même 
de nouvelles intéressantes ne nous ont tiré [s] de notre 
inactivité. Le 1 8 Septembre nous avons reçu l'avis de l'ar- 
rivée de l'Amiral Rodney a Sandy Hoock avec dix vaisseaux 
et l'on nous a annoncé ses projets sur nous, conjointement 
avec le General Clinton qui dit on embarque neuf mille cinq 


cens hommes pour opérer une descente, tandis que l'Amiral 
Eodney avec vingt et un vaisseaux de ligne, forcera la passe 
et combattra nos sept vaisseaux. 

Monsieur le Comte de Rochambcau est absent, une entre- 
A-ue avec le General Washington, l'a fait partir le 17 de ce 
mois de Newport pour Hartford, lieu du rendezvous des 
deux Généraux et c'est le Baron de Viomesnil qui commande 

Il connoit le danger que nous courons et toutes ses con- 
sequences, mais il connoit tout aussi bien les moyens que 
nous avons de résister et les ressources que nous pouvons 
tirer de notre position et de notre courage ; il y joint de 
plus le talent de persuader les esprits et de les ramener a 
son opinion, et j'avouerai avec plaisir que je lui accorde tous 
les droits a la mienne. Il a déterminé le 19 de ce mois, la 
ligne de Bataille dans la quelle notre escadre doit combat- 
tre, il en appuyé la droite a l'Isle de Eoss Island, dans la 
quelle il fait mettre en batterie quarante pieces de canon de 
36, de 24 et de 12 livres de balle et la gauche de nos sept 
vaisseaux embosses est assurée par la batterie construite a 
Brentons point, composée de 8 pieces de 24 et de 4 mortiers 
de 12 pouces de diamètre. Quatre autres mortiers de 8 
pouces et 4 pieces de 24, sont destinées a porter les P'* 
coups a l'ennemi l'ors qu'il sera enfourné dans la passe. 

Telle est la position dans la quelle notre escadre attend 
l'attaque des ennemis il est possible qu'elle succombe, le 
nombre peut l'accabler, mais c'est dans les occasions les plus 
périlleuses qu'un grand courage peut se déployer, la gloire 
est proportionée au danger que l'on court, et quand l'on n'a 
rien a gagner sur l'ennemi, quand on a cependant la res- 
source d'une superbe defense, on ne doit pas balancer a 
prendre le parti de la faire, se sacrifier même s'il le faut. 


On peut s'illustrer en se perdant ; les larmes que l'ennemi 
donnera a sa victoire seront un homage qu'il nous rendra, 
et la postérité nous les comptera peut être pour des 

Du 18 au 30 de Septembre nous avons continuellement 
été occupés a perfectionner nos dispositions de defense ; 
nous avons vécu jusques la, dans l'espérance de voir arriver 
la flotte de IVP le Comte de Guichen que nous jugeons tous 
devoir être a la pours uitte de l'Amiral Rodney ; mais nous 
avons été détrompés a cet égard par l'arrivée de la fregatte 
la Gentille venant du cap François, elle nous a instruit du 
départ de M'^ de Guichen des Antilles, escortant un convoi 
très considerable que l'on croit qu'il conduira jusqu'en 
France. La Gentille est arrivée le SO'"^" et avoit a son bord 
M"" de Choisi et neuf Officiers François, dont M'" de Thuil- 
lieres Capitaine au reg* R"' Deuxponts. 

Rodney n'ayant rien entrepris dans les quinze premiers 
jours de son arrivée, il etoit presque certain qu'il n'entre- 
prendroit plus rien ; la lenteur et les retards lui faisoient 
perdre tous ses avantages, et vers le 4 ou le 5 Octobre, nous 
étions persuadés que nous ne serions plus attaqués, et que 
l'objet de l'Amiral Rodney etoit plutôt de reparer ses vais- 
seaux, mal traités dans les combats qu' il a eu a soutenir 
contre M'' de Guichen, que de nous combattre. Nous avons 
désespéré alors de sortir de notre inaction, et nous avons 
commencé a nous occuper de nos quartiers d'hyver, on a 
travaillé a force a la reparation et a l'arrangement des mai- 

* Le même jour nous avons appris la nouvelle de la trahison infâme 
du General Arnold, et nous apprenons en même tems que le Major 
André, aide de camp de confiance du G^i Clinton a été arrêté déguisé, 
par des soldats de [la] milice Américaine, et que ce Major André 
etoit chargé par Clinton de sa négociation avec Arnold. 


sons destinées au logement des troupes, et M' de Rocham- 
beau a fixé la fin du mois pour l'évacuation du camp et 
notre entrée a Newport. 

Le 28 D'Octobre, les fregattes l'Amazone, la Surveillante 
et l'Hermione ont appareillé, la premiere va en France, et 
passe le Vicomte de Rocliambeau a son bord, Les deux autres 
fregattes vont croiser, je ne scais ou. 

le 31 Octobre, la Brigade de Bourbonnois a quittée le 
camp de Newport et a pris ses quartiers d'hyver dans la 
ville, elle a été suivie le 1*"^ de Novembre par la Brigade de 

Le 10 de Novembre, les deux Escadrons des Hussars, de la 
legion de Lauzun, ont quitté Newport pour aller prendre 
leurs quartiers, a Lebanon dans l'état du Connecticut. 

le 15 de Décembre Monsieur le Chevalier de Ternay Chef 
D'Escadre, est mort, et n'a emporté aucuns regrets. Mon- 
sieur Destouches, le plus ancien des Capitaines de vaisseaux 
de l'Escadre en a pris le commandement, et toutes les 
opinions se réunissent en sa faveur. 

L'Escadre a ordre de se tenir prête a sortir, quatre vais- 
seaux paroissent être destinés a appareiller incessamment, 
pour aller au devant des fregattes la Surveillante et l'Hermi- 
one (maintenant a Boston) ou elles sont rentrées après leur 
croisière, et qui doivent bientôt rentrer a Rhode Island. 



Ije 20 de Janvier, les vaisseaux V Eveillé et V ardent, et la 
ii'cgatte la Gentille ont appareillé pour assurer le retour des 
fregattes la Surveillante et VHennione ; ils ont essuyé du très 
mauvais tems et sont rentrés le 21 ' 

Dans la nuit du 22 au 23 il y a eu un très fort coup de 
vent qui a fait échouer un vaisseau de ligne anglois a la 
pointe de Montuc, un autre vaisseau anglois a été dematé. 
le 26 nos deux fregattes sont rentrées ici le 26 avec Vlsle de 
France, Gabarre, ces batimens out un peu souffert du mau- 
vais tems. 

Le Vaisseau anglois qui a péri dans le dernier coup de 
vent, est le Cidloden de 74 canons et le vaisseau dematé est 
le Betford de même force ; les ennemis stationnés a Gard- 
ners Bay, et instruits que nous attendions deux fregattes, ont 
fait sortir trois vaisseaux pour intercepter leur retour et 
c'est cette croisière qui leur a été si funeste. 

le 8 de Février a sept heures du soir, le vaisseau V Eveillé 
les fregattes la Surveillante et la Gentille et le cutter la Guejie 
ont appareillé, on ignore leur destination mais tout nous 
porte a croire qu'ils vont a la riviere de James dans la baye 
de Chesapeack, (ou Arnold est débarqué avec 1500 hommes) 
pour brûler ses vaisseaux de transport, et combattre un 
vaisseau de 50 canons et deux fregattes qui forment son 
escorte, et qui sont embosses pour le soutenir. 

Le 25 Février a trois heures après midi, l'on a signalé 
quatre voiles et a six heures du soir, L'Eveillé la Surveillante 
et la Gentille sont rentrés ici, amenant avec eux le Romvlus 
vaisseau Anglois de 44 canons et percé a cinquante quatre, 


que l'Eveillé a pris a la liauteur du cap Henri. L'Objet de 
la sortie de L'Eveillé etoit la destruction des batimens 
D'Arnold, mais l'Eveillé tire trop d'eau, et n'a pas pu s'en- 
foncer assez avant dans la riviere de James, pour entrer 
dans la riviere d'Elisabeth, qui communique avec la riviere 
de James, et dans la quelle toute la flotille Angloise est 
mouillée ; l'Eveillé a été obligé de renoncer a atteindre le 
Charon de 50 Canons et les deux fregattes qui y sont et qui 
ont été obligés de s'alléger pour y parvenir ; la Surveillante 
qui s'etoit un peu trop avancée, a même été échouée pendant 
vingt quatre heures, et l'on a été obligé de la décharger de 
ses canons pour la remettre a flot. L'expédition de L'Eveillé 
dans la baye de Chesapcack, s'est bornée a la prise de trois 
corsaires et six briques ou senaux les petits batimens ont 
été brûlés et les corsaires conduits a York Town ; L'impos- 
sibilité de faire d'autres entreprises détermina le retour de 
IVf de Tilly, qui faisant route pour revenir a Rhode Island 
découvrit un bâtiment et le chassa ,* le bâtiment prenant les 
vaisseaux chasseurs pour des navires de sa nation, ne prit 
chasse, qu'au moment ou il fit des signaux de reconnoissance, 
auxquels on ne repondit point. L'Eveillé l'atteignit bientôt, 
lui présenta son travers a la portée du pistolet, la Gentille 
le gagna par la Hanche et on lui cria dans cette position 
d'amener son pavillon, il amena son pavillon, on lui cria 
d'amener sa flamme ; il amena sa flamme ; enfin le Romulus 
se rendit a l'Eveillé, sans tirer un seul coup de canon, et si 
l'on ne peut pas vanter son courage, il est du moins permis 
de juger sa docilité extreme. M'' de Tilly amarina sa prise, 
et fit sans perdre de tems, route pour revenir a Rhode 
Island. Grande joye a Newport ; mais nous sommes très 
inquiets du sort du cutter la Guêpe sorti avec M'' de Tilly, 
qui s'en est séparé le lendemain de sa sortie, et dont on n'a 


aucunes nouvelles, le Chevalier de Maulevrier qui commande 
ce cutter et qui a beaucoup de qualités amiables, joint toutes 
celles de son état ; est l'objet particulier de nos inquietudes 

Le 27 Février nous avons reçu la nouvelle de l'arrivée de. 
la fregatte l'astrée a Boston, elle est partie de Brest, et a 
fait une traversée de 63 jours. 

Le 6 de Mars, le General Washington est arrivé a New- 
port et a été reçu avec tous les honneurs dus a un Maréchal 
de France. 

Le 8 de Mars, toute notre escadre, composée du Duc de 
Bourgogne, du Neptune du Conquérant de L'Eveillé du Jason, 
de la Provence de V ardent, du Romulus des fregattes la Sur- 
veillante et VHermîone et du vaisseau le Fantasque armé en 
flutte a mis a la voile a six heures du soir, elle â a bord, quatre 
Compagnies de Grenadiers et Chasseurs, un detachment de 
164 hommes de chacun de nos regiments et 100 hommes 
d'artillerie, le tout composant 1156 hommes, on a embarqué 
des pieces de canon de 16 et de 12, des obusiers, des pieces 
d'artillerie de campagne, tout l'attirail nécessaire pour 
attaquer des retranchemens, nous ne doutons pas de l'inten- 
tion d'attaquer Arnold conjointement avec 1500 hommes de 
l'armée Américaine, commandés par le M'^ de la Fayette, et 
toutes les milices de l'état de la Virginie. C'est le B""^ de 
Viomesnil qui commande l'expédition, le M*^ de Laval, le 
Vicomte de Noailles, M"^ D'Anselme et de Gambs, sont les 
Officiers supérieurs employés a ses ordres. 

Le 10 Mars a onze heures du matin, l'escadre Angloise a 
appareillé de la baye de Gardner et nous ne pouvons pas 
douter qu'elle ne soit a la poursuitte de la notre. Les cir- 
constances du départ de l'ennemi, prouvent de l'activité. Ar- 
buthnot instruit des préparatifs de notre escadre envoya a 
la découverte, un vaisseau et une fregatte qui parurent le 9, 


devant le Goulet de Rhode Island s'en approchèrent de très 
préS; mirent en panne et y restèrent assez de tems pour voir 
d'une manière certaine s'il y avoit encore dans notre rade 
des vaisseaux de guerre ou non, convaincus de ce qu 'ils vou- 
loient scavoir, ces deux batimens virèrent de bord, mirent 
toutes voiles dehors, et prirent la route de Gardners Bay, ils 
arrivèrent a la vue de leur escadre le lendemain matin, et 
da plus loin qu 'ils purent être apperçus, firent des signaux 
convenus, auxquels les ennemis appareillèrent sur le champ. 
Leur escadre est composée* de onze voiles, huit vaisseaux 
et trois fregattes. 

Le General- Washington est parti de Newport le 13 Mars, 
on lui a rendu a son départ, les mêmes honneurs qu' a son 

Nous sommes persuadés que l'escadre Angloise, partie 
quarante heures après la notre, ne pourra pas l'atteindre, et 
empêcher son entrée dans la baye de Chesapeack, et cette 
supposition entraine neccessairement l'espérance que l'expé- 
dition projettée contre Arnold, sera heureuse. Nous nous 
attendons que l'ennemi voudra se venger sur nous, et tentera 
d'entrer et de brûler nos batimens de transport, ce dédom- 
mage [me] nt ne pourra cependant pas, quand même il reus- 
siroit être une consolation de la perte que nous lui ferons 
éprouver en Virginie, et nous augmentons ici les retranche- 
mens de toutes nos batteries, et particulièrement celles de 
Goad Island, pour lui préparer une vigoureuse reception. 

Le 26 Mars on est venu pendant que nous dinions, nous 
dire, que l'on signaloit plusieurs batimens de guerre ; que M"^ 

* Notre escadre a appareillée dans la ferme persuasion que le Bet- 
ford, vaisseau Auglois, dematé dans le coup de veut du 22 au 23 de 
Janvier, n'avoit pas encore pu être mis eu état de sortir, il est certain 
cependant qu'il fait nombre dans sou escadre 


le C*° de Rochambeau a qui on en avoit rendu comte, mon- 
toit a cheval pour aller a la perche des signaux que l'artil- 
lerie avoit ordre de se porter aux batteries, que les Grenadiers 
et detachemens destinés a la défense de Goad Islaud se 
tenoient prêtes a y être transportés, et que tout en General, 
se preparoit a marcher aux postes designés d'avance par le 
General, nous avons aussitôt interrompu notre repas et nous 
nous sommes mis a la suite du General ; nous avons effec- 
tivement vu ces voiles, portant droit sur Rhode Island, et il 
nous etoit impossible encore de distinguer si elles etoient 
amies ou ennemies ; nous avons resté a peu prés une heure 
dans l'incertitude, après la quelle nous avons reconnu notre 
escadre, qui est entrée le même soir dans la Rade de New- 
port, et nous appris que contrariée par le mauvais tems, par 
les vents contraires, et peut être par une conoissance impar- 
faite des vents regnans sur la côte ; elle n'avoit pu, (étant 
partie le 8 Mars) atteindre que le 14 Mars, la hauteur du 
Cap Charles; que le vent de Nord Ouest l'avoit forcée d'y 
croiser pendant deux jours, que le 1 6 au matin le vent adonna ; 
je joins ici le detail du combat donné le même jour entre les 
deux escadres. 

Vendredi 16 Mars a 12 lieues environ dans l'est de la 
baye de Chesapeack ; l'escadre du Roy, aux ordres de Mon- 
sieur Destouches, couroit bien rassemblée, le cap au Nord, les 
amures a bas-bord, les vents foibles au Sud Est, la mer 
grosse, le tems très brumeux; a six heures et demi [e] du 
matin, la fregatte l'Hermione, signala une voile au vent, qu' 
elle reçut ordre d'aller reconnaître conjointement avec le 
vaisseau L'éveillé ; quelques tems après la Flutte le Fan- 
tasque ayant découvert dix autres voiles au Sud de l'horizon, 
en fit les signaux d'avertissement ; le vaisseau Commd* fit 
aussitôt celui du branlebas du combat, et ordonna de se 


mettre en bataille, les amures a bas bord : pendant l'exécu- 
tion de ce mouvement, les vents passoient successivement au 
Nord, ensuite au N.N.E. et se fLxerent au Nord Est, ce qui 
plaça l'escadre Françoise, au vent de l'Escadre Angioise a la 
distance de trois lieues ; elle avoit été forcée de suivre les 
vents a mesure qu'ils changoient et l'orsque la brume fut un 
peu dissippée, elle reparut dans la hanche de stribord, por- 
tant ainsi que nos vaisseaux a l'Est Sud Est. A neuf heures 
on fit le signal au Fantasque de serrer le vent et de forcer 
de voiles, et a toute l'escadre celui de virer vent devant par 
la contremarche, le vent commençoit a souffler avec force, la 
voilure commune etoit la misaine et les huniers ; l'ardent et 
l'Eveillé rompirent leurs grandes vergues et nos vaisseaux 
avoient a peine terminé la manoeuvre ordonnée que l'escadre 
ennemie, prit les mêmes amures, tenant le plus avec beau- 
coup de voiles, l'inégalité de la marche des vaisseaux ennemis 
les sépara en deux divisions, tandis que l'escadre Françoise 
toujours eu ligne stribord s'occupoit a prendre tous les ris ; 
les frigattes augloises et quelques uns de leurs vaisseaux de 
tête portoient des perroquets. Vers onze heures ils ap- 
prochoient sensiblement le serre file François, M'' des 
Touches fit alors une contremarche Lof pour Lof, courant 
en bataille a bord opposé, la ligne Françoise fut très réguli- 
èrement formée, et les premiers* vaisseaux ennemis diminu- 
èrent a l'instant de voile et arrivèrent de deux quarts ; Leur 
Amii-al les rallia bientôt, continua toujours la même bordée 
en serrant le vent, et les deux lignes se prolongèrent alors, 
a toute la volée du gros canon, a midi | les ennemis qui 
portoient beaucoup plus de voiles que les vaisseaux Fran- 
çois, se trouvèrent a portée de virer vent devant dans les 
eaux de l'escadre Françoise qui n'augmenta pas de voile, et 
a une heure le chef de file Angiois u'etoit gueres qu'a la petite 


portée du serrefile François ; la mer etoit grosse, il ventoit 
très frais, plusieurs batteries basses etoient presque noyées ; 
M"" Destouches se décida a virer vent arrière par une seconde 
contremarche pour pouvoir attaquer sous le vent; cette 
manoeuvre fut promptement exécutée, les vaisseaux de tête 
eurent ordre d'an-iver de quatre quarts, les Anglois sentirent 
que leur supériorité devenoit inutile s'ils se battoient au vent a 
bord opposé ; leur premier vaisseau arriva en consequence sur 
le Conquérant aux mêmes amures ; il etoit une heure et 
demie, et les vaisseaux des lignes respectives commencèrent 
alors a se canonner de très prés ; le feu devint vif a mesure 
qu'ils arrivoient dans les eaux de leurs matelots d'avant. 
Le Conquérant vaisseau de tête qui se battoit depuis une 
demie heure, l'orsque le dernier vaisseau François commença 
le combat contre le 5''''"° de la ligne Angloise, avoit déjà 
beaucoup souffert dans ses voiles et ses agrès, il tomba sous 
le vent et fut attaqué par plusieurs gros vaisseaux contre 
les quels il fit un feu continu ; le Duc de Bourgogne et le 
Neptune arrivèrent pour le défendre, ce mouvement doubla 
nécessairement la ligne pendant quelques minutes, les Anglois 
vouloient profiter de ces circonstances pour écraser le serrefîl 
François ; Le London gouverna dans la hanche du vent et 
deux autres vaisseaux se tinrent dans sa poupe a portée de 
mousqueterie, heureusement ils laissèrent échapper l'instant 
de mettre en travers, le Duc de Bourgogne et le Conqué- 
rant firent sur eux un très grand feu qui ne leur laissoit que 
le tems de faire quelques arrivées en envoyant deux volées 
presque sans aucun effet, quant au London, dès qu'on put 
lui presenter le travers, il essuya a peine quelques volées et 
se rallia au vent de son escadre degrayé de sa grande vergue 
de hune. Les derniers coups de canon cessèrent sur les 
trois heures, on voyoit alors distinctement deux vaisseaux 


enuemis très maltraités ; M'" Destoucbes fit signal de rétablir 
^la ligne, niais le Conquérant répondit qu'il ne pouvoit pas 
recommencer le combat, alors le General indiqua l'air de 
vent Sud Est a petite voilure, les ennemis restèrent en panne 
pour se reparer, a 5 heures on dit qu'ils portoient a l'Ouest; 
Le lendemain L'escadre Fi-ancoise fit différentes routes et 
passa l'aprés midi en panne, le Conquérant se repara, les 
autres vaisseaux avoient peu souffert. Dimanche Dix huit 
on chassa un gros bâtiment qui fut pris et amariné par 

Le Combat a été vif, bien conduit et fait honneur a la 
marine Françoise, mais l'objet est manqué et la gloire n'est 
qu'une chimère quand elle n'offre point de résultats avanta- 
geux. Le Conquérant, fardent et le Jason sont les trois 
vaisseaux qui ont donné le plus et M''* de La Grandiere de 
Marigni et de La Clocheterie sont les trois Capitaines qui 
ont pu montrer le plus, leur valeur et leur habilité. L'Es- 
cadre Angloise etoit composée, de huit vaisseaux un de 98, 
trois de 74, trois de 64 et un de 50. L'Escadre Françoise 
etoit composée d'un vaisseau de 80, deux de 74 quatre de 
64 et un de 44, l'ennemi etoit supérieur et ne peut se vanter 
d'aucun avantage, mais ce ne sont que des coups donnés et 

le 13 D'Avril nous avons appris que le cutter La Gtiepe 
dont nous n'avions pas entendu parler depuis sa separation 
de L'Eveillé, s'est perdu sur le cap Charles, mais que le 
Chevalier de Maulevrier et tout son equipage s'etoient 

le 18 D'Avril tous les batimeus de transport frettés au 
compte du Roy qui avoient porté nos troupes, ont mis a la 
voile pour S' Dominique, sous l'escorte des fregattes la Sur- 
veillante et l'hermione, la dernière de ces deux fregattes, 


quittera le convoi a la hauteur de la Delaware pour aller a 
Philadelphie; mais la Surveillante le conduira jusqu'à sa 

Le 6 Mai la fregatte la Concorde est arrivée de France a 
Boston en quarante et quelques jours de traversée, elle 
avoit a son bord M"" le C*^ de Barras chef D'Escadre qui 
remplace le Chevalier de Ternaj; et le Vicomte de Roch- 

Le 18 de Mai, on a embarque a bord de nos huit vais- 
seaux de guerre, sept cents cinquante hommes, tirés par de- 
tachemens, de nos regiments, de l'artillerie et de la legion 
de Lauzun, on croit que l'escadre a demandée ces troupes, 
pour la croisière par la quelle elle doit protéger l'arrivée du 
convoi que nous attendons de France. 

Le même jour on a signalé l'escadre Angioise, qui a 
mouillée entre Block Island et la pointe Judith, au nombre 
de neuf voiles toutes, vaisseaux de ligne. 

le 22 Mai un petit convoi de six voiles, que nous attendions 
de Boston, a paru et a été signalé a la hauteur de Betford ; 
M'' de Barras aussitôt qu'il en reçut la nouvelle, prit la reso- 
lution d'appareiller pour sauver ce petit convoi qu'il eut été 
honteux de laisser prendre a notre vue, il fit le signal a l'es- 
cadre de se tenir prête a appareiller, mais le vent étant 
directement contraire aux Angiois tandis qu'il favorisoit les 
nôtres, il devint inutile d'effectuer le projet de M^ de Barras, 
qui ce me semble cherchera dans tous les cas, a soutenir 
vigoureusement l'honneur de la marine Françoise. 

Les Angiois établis depuis le 18 Mai entre Block Island 
et la pointe Judith ont quitté leur station le 23 Mai; on 
ignore ou ils vont. 

le 5 de Juin nos troupes embarquées sur l'escadre ont été 


Tout le mois de Mai et le commencement de Juin, avoient 
été occupés aux préparatifs du départ des troupes Francoises 
de L'isle de Rhode Island au transport de tous les magazins 
a Providence et Hartford, a la disposition des marches et 
des camps a l'achat de chevaux pour l'Artillerie, et a celui 
des Boeufs pour les Wagons, et aux dispositions pour les 
vivres et les fourages ; 

le 18 de Mai, M'' le Comte de Rochambeau et M' le Che- 
valier de Chastelux sont partis de Newport pour aller trouver 
a Walter Fie.d (prés de Hartford) le General Washington, 
avec lequel ils avoient un rendezvous ; nos Généraux sont 
revenus le 26 et dumôment de leur retour tolis les préparatifs 
ont redoublé d'activité. M'" le C"' de Rochambeau et M"" de Bar- 
ras ont eus ensemble plusieurs conferences il paroissoit décidé 
que notre escadre quitteroit la rade de Newport, en même 
tems que nous en abandonnerions les postes, qu' elle iroit a 
Boston ou elle seroit plus en sûreté contre toute entreprise, 
qu'a Rhode Island, ou elle etoit exposée, dés qu'elle n'etoit 
plus soutenu par des troupes de terre en nombre considerable, 
cette resolution dont les Généraux, môme paroissoient con- 
venir, fut suivie d'un moment d'indécision. M"" de Rocham- 
beau, etoit d'avis que l'escadre devoit rester a Rhode Island, 
M"^ de Barras vouloit aller a Boston, il etoit essentiel cepen- 
dant de reunir les avis, de se concerter et de prendre une 
resolution, fixe. Pour terminer toute indecision et toute 
discussion, on assembla le 31 Mai, un conseil de Guerre a 
Bord du Duc de Bourgogne, composé de M'' de Barras, et 
des Capitaines de vaisseaux d'une part, et de nos Généraux, 
Brigadiers et Commandans de Brigades de l'autre; la 
seance dura cinq heures, les decisions furent tenues secrettes, 
le Duc de Lauzun fut chargé de les aller porter au General 
Washington a New Windsor ; deux jours après l'on vit que 


L'escadre ne faisoit plus de préparatifs de depart, et l'on 
sent que le projet etoit de la laisser a Rhode Island et de 
la faire garder du coté de terre par quatre cents liommes 
de nos troupes tirés par detacliemens de nos quatre regi- 
mens, et d'y joindre quinze cents liommes de Milice améri- 
caine, le tout commandé par M"^ de Choisi. Le Duc de 
Lauzun revint le 8 de Juin de New Windsor avec la réponse 
du G''^ Washington, et deux heures après, les mêmes person- 
nes qui avoient compose le premier Conseil de Guerre, se 
rassemblèrent a bord du Neptune et vinrent après quatre 
heures de seance, a bord du Duc de Bourgogne, ou M"" de 
Barras nous avoit invité a un grand diner. Le Lendemain 
neuf de Juin, la Brigade de Bourbonnois, reçut l'ordre de 
s'embarquer avec armes et bagages, sur des petits batimens 
américains qui nous transporteroient a Providence. 

le 10 de Juin a cinq heures du matin, la Brigade de 
Bourbonnois s'est euibarquée sur les petits batimens qui lui 
etoient destinés, et n'est arrivée a Providence qu'a neuf 
heures du soir; il etoit impossible ce même soir d'aller 
marquer le camp, de camper et de recevoir la paille et le 
bois qui lui etoient nécessaires ; M'" le Baron de Yiomesnil 
obtint pour ce soir la, des magistrats de la ville, quelques 
grandes maisons vuides dans lesquelles on coucha les soldats 
et le lendemain onze, a six heures du matin, nous avons été 
camper sur la hauteur qui domine Providence a l'Ouest, la 
Brigade de Soisonnois est arrivée ce même jour et campe a 
notre gauche. 

L'escadre du Roy est définitivement restée a Newport, 
elle est gardée par quatre cents hommes de nos troupes et 
des milices américaines qui arrivent fort lentement et qui 
ont dit on, des engagemens très courts a remplir. Nous 
resterons huit jours dans le camp de Providence, et ce 


tems nous est nécessaire pour rassembler les chevaux de 
L'Artillerie, de l'Hôpital ambulant, les Wagons qui portent 
nos equipages, les boeufs qui doivent les trainer et pour 
attendre quatre cents cinquante hommes destinés pour notre 
armée et qui viennent d'arriver a Boston sur le convoi venant 
de France. 

De Providence nous devons dit-on, nous rendre en qua- 
torze jours dont douze de marche, et deux [de] séjours a la 
riviere D'Hudson, ou nous attendrons de nouveaux ordres; 
les marches d'ici la, ne se faisant pas dans la proximité de 
l'ennemi, doivent pour plus grande commodité, se faire regi- 
ment par regiment. 

le 16 de Juin, Monsieur le Baron de Viomesnil a passé 
notre revue d'entrée de campagne, le même jour nos recrues 
sont arrivées de Boston. 

le 18 de Juin le regiment de Bourbonnois, le 19 le reg* 
de R"' Deuxpoints, le 20 le reg* de Soisonnois, et le 21 le 
reg* de Saint Onge, ont successivement quitté le camp de 
Providence et en conservant toujours entre nous la distance 
d'une journée de marche, nous avons été camper le premier 
jour a Wattermans Tavern le second a Plain Jield, le troi- 
sième a Windham:^ le quatrième a Bolton et le 5'"™'' a Hart- 
ford. Chaque regiment y séjournera pendant deux jours et 
nous nous remettrons ensuite en marche dans le môme 
ordre dans lequel nous sommes arrivés a Hartford. 

* a Windham, nous campions clans un petit vallon entouré de bois, 
une heure après notre arrivée, le feu a pris dans le bois qui est a la 
gauche du camp, nous avons employé trois cents hommes a l'eteiudre, 
mais nous n'y sommes pas parvenus, le feu ne ravageoit que les brous- 
sailles et n'attaquoit pas les gros arbres ; cet accident, effrayant dans 
tous les pays est assez indifferent aux Américains dont le pays est 
rempli de forets, ils en sont même quelque fois bien aise parceque 
cela leur épargne la peine de les couper pour défricher les terres. 


Arrivé le 22 de Juin, le regiment de Bourbonnois a levé 
son camp le 25, le regiment de Royal Deuxponts le 2G, le 
reg* de Soisonnois le 27 et le reg* de Saint Onge le 28 et 
ont été camper le premier jour de leur marche a Farming- 
ton, le second a Barons Tavern le troisième a Breach Neck et 
le quatrième a Newtown ; 

Tous ces differens camps que nous avons pris depuis 
notre départ de Newport n'avoient d'autre objet que celui 
de faire du chemin, et nous étions beaucoup trop éloignés de 
l'ennemi pour avoir d'autres precautions a prendre que 
celles qii' exigeoit notre discipline intérieure ; On no s'est 
occupé jusques la, que de notre commodité et de ce qui 
pouvoit épargner de la fatigue aux troupes ; mais arrivés a 
New Town on eut été coupable de negligence si on avoit 
continué a témoigner la même confiance dans l'impossibilité 
des tentatives de l'ennemi. M"" le C'° de Rochambeau 
détacha pour la premiere fois a New Town, le bataillon de 
Grenadiers et chasseurs de la Brigade de Bourbonnois. Le 
General avoit en premier lieu, le projet d'y rassembler nos 
quatre regiments, et de nous faire partir ensuite Brigade par 
Brigade a une journée de distance, la Brigade de Bourbonnois 
devoit se mettre en marche le 2 de Juillet et la Brigade de 
Soisonnois le 3. Mais un courier que M*" de Rochambeau 
reçut dans la nuit du 30 de Juin au l'*^"" Juillet du General 
Washington hâta notre départ ; on battit le premier a deux 
heures du matin et la Brigade de Bourbonnois décampa et 
quitta New Town le 1" de Juillet ; le reg* de Soisonnois 
reste dans sa position pour attendre le regiment de Saint 
Onge qui n'arrive qu'aujourd'hui, et les deux regiments 
reunis se mettront en marche demain 2 de Juillet. 

La Brigade de Bourbonnois a été camper le même jour a 
Riclge Bury, le lendemain 2 de Juillet a Betford et le 3 a 



North Castle, ou nous avons été joints par la Brigade de 
Soisonnois qui a doublé une marche et est arrivée en un jour 
de Ridge Bury a North Castle. 

Les Grenadiers et chasseurs continuent a être détachés. 
La Legion de Lauzun qui nous avoit joint hier deux de Juillet 
a Betford, en est repartie le même soir renforcée par les 
Dragons Américains de Scheldon pour aller a la poursuitte 
de quatre cents Toris qui se sont montrés dans ces environs, 
et qui ont enlevé des bestiaux. 

Pendant la marche que nous avons fait[e] pour nous 
rendre de Newport aux bords de la riviere D 'Hudson, le 
General Washington dont les mouvements etoient concertés 
avec les nôtres, a quitté son quartier D'hyver pris a New 
Windsor, et s'est' porté sur Fcaks Kill sur la riviere du Nord, 
(ou Hudson) ou d'après le projet convenu, l'Armée Françoise 
et l'armée Américaine dévoient se reunir ; arrivé a Peaks 
Kill le G''^ Washington reçut la nouvelle de la sortie d'un 
corps de troupes Angloises de l'Isle de New York, et qui 
s'etoit porté surWest Cheaster ; il résolut de le faire attaquer, 
il forma -en consequence une avant garde aux ordres du G"' 
Lincoln de mille ou douze cents hommes, il envoya en même 
tems un courier a M"" de Rochambeau pour l'avertir de ses 
desseins, pour lui donner un autre rendez vous de reunion, 
pour lui faire hâter la marche de notre armée et pour lui 
demander la Legion de Lauzun. C'est la, la raison qui nous 
a fait partir a l'improviste de New Town, qui a fait partir 
la legion de Lauzun le même soir de son arrivée a Betford, 
qui a fait doubler une marche a la Brigade de Soisonnois, et 
qui nous a fait porter a North Castle, a portée et prêts a 
marcher au premier ordre qui eut requis notre presence ; 
que seroit devenue nécessaire, si la demarche des Anglois, 
celle du G-''^ Washington et la notre avoient engagé une 
action sérieuse et générale. 


L' avant garde aux ordres du G"^ Lincoln, descendit la 
riviere du Nord sur des bateaux, le G-''^ Washington en suivit 
les bords pour aller a l'appui de Lincoln, la legion de Lau- 
zun, et les Dragons de Scheldon, arrivoient d'un autre coté 
et nous, nous attendrions les evenemens a North Castle. 
Bref, le General Lincoln attaqua le 3 de Juillet ; soit qu'il 
s'y soit mal pris,* qu'il ait attaqué trop tot ou qu'il ait eu 
affaire a un ennemi trop nombreux, il fut réponse, perdit 
quatre vingt hommes tués ou blessés et se replia sur le G'*' 
Washington qui avoit pris avec sa petite armée, une posi- 
tion propre a favoriser la retraite de Lincoln. La Legion de 
Lauzun qui n'avoit entendue que le bruit des coups de fusil 
sans participer au combat se retira de son coté, et c'est ainsi 
que se termina une journée peu mémorable et peu glorieuse. 

le 5 de Juillet le G'"*^ Washington dont l'armée est déjà 
campée dans la position que nous allons occuper demain, est 
venu nous voir a North Castle. 

Le 6 de Juillet nous avons quittée le camp de North 
Castle et sommes venus après une marche très longue très 
fatiguante et une chaleur affreuse; occuper le Camp de 
Philippsburg, ou notre reunion avec l'arméet américaine s'est 
effectuée. La droite des deux armées est appuyée a un Vallon 
et est placée sur une hauteur très élevée et très roide:}: qui 
domine ce vallon, au centre est un fonds dans lequel coule 
un petit ruisseau, ce fonds qui sépare les François d'avec les 

* Nous n'avons jamais pu scavoir le vrai de cette attaque, ni des 
causes qui l'ont fait manquer, le Duc de Lauzun qui y etoit m'a affirmé 
lui même qu'il n'en scavoit rien 

t On nous disoit a Newport l'armée Américaine forte de 10000 
hommes ; elle l'est de 2500 a 3000 hommes, et ce n'est pas mentir beau- 
coup pour des Américains. 

î a trois milles de la riviere du Nord. 


Amcricains, a des bords très élevés et très escarpés, la gauche 
est appuyée a un petit ruisseau, très voisin de Broukriver sur la 
quelle nous avons des postes, le front du camp est couvert de 
bois et nous n'avons rien a craindre pour nos derrières. La 
Legion de Lauzun campée a White plains a quatre milles de 
notre gauche, nous assure de ce coté la ; toutes les avenues 
imaginables sont garnies de postes avancés tant Francois qu' 
américains et notre eloignement de King^s Bridge n'est que 
de dix milles. 

Le 8 de Juillet le G"^ Washington a passé la revue 
d'honneur de l'armée Françoise. 

le 14 de Juillet a six heures du soir, la brigade de Bour- 
bonnois, les bataillons de Grenadiers et chasseurs des deux 
Brigades, et la legion de Lauzun reçurent l'ordre de marcher 
et la retraite devoit tenir lieu de la générale pour fixer le mo- 
ment du départ; notre marche devoit être combinée avec 
une grande partie de l'armée Américaine, mais a sept heures 
nous reçûmes contre ordre. 

le 15 de Juillet a dix heures et demie du soir nous enten- 
dîmes plusieurs coups de canon, de la mousqueterie, et un 
moment après, on battit la Générale,* toute l'armée courut 
aux armes et fut formée en un instant, après avoir restés 
en bataille pendant une demie heure ou trois quarts 
d'heure, on nous donna l'ordre de rentrer dans nos tentes. 
A cinq heures du matin, une méprise pareille a celle de la 
veille, fit tirer des coups de canon d'allarme, mais on ne 
nous fit pas mettre sous les armes. 

Dans la matinée du 16 Juillet, j'appris que les coups de 
canon de la veille avoient été tirés a Tarri Town (petit en- 

* c'est une marque de zélé très précipitée, très mal entendue et très 
déplacée qui a fait battre la Générale 


droit au bord de la riviere D'Hudson, ou on avoit jusques la, 
débarqué les farines qui nous viennent des Jerseys) par 
deux fregattes Angloises qui avoient voulu soutenir une 
attaque faite par trois schoners Anglois dont l'intention etoit 
de prendre ou brûler cinq petits batimeiis chargés de farines ; 
l'attaque fut infructueuse, ils parvinrent a la vérité a mettre le 
feu a un de ces batimens, mais il fut éteint et la cargaison 
sauvée : On apprit que cette flotille Angloise etoit encore 
dans la même position que la veille; l'artillerie de West 
point n'etoit point arrivée ; le G'""^ Washington demanda deux 
de nos pieces de douze et deux obusiers, qui partirent a 
l'instant, je précédai leur arrivée, j'attendis celle de nos 
pieces qui furent aussitôt mises en batterie et commencèrent 
a tirer; nos cannoniers peu accoutumés a tirer sur l'eau 
portèrent fort peu de leurs coups a bord des fregattes, qui 
nous tirèrent quelques coups de canon, et se touerent ensuite 
hors de notre portée. 

les fregattes restèrent dans leur même position, le 17, et 
le 18; le 19 en redescendant la riviere du Nord pour 
retourner a New York elles furent saluées a leur passage a 
Dobs Ferry par deux pieces de canon et deux obusier qui 
y avoient été transportés, une obuse porta a bord, mit le 
feu a la fregatte, et y repandit une telle terreur que vingt 
sept matelots se jetterent a l'eau, quelques uns furent noyés, 
trois furent faits prisonniers et les autres regagnèrent la 
fregatte, sur la quelle le feu etoit éteint. 

le 21 Juillet a six heures et demi[e] du soir, nous reçûmes 
le même ordre que le 14 de ce mois, même quantité de 
troupes, tant Francoises qu' Américaines, même nombre de 
colonnes, même train d'artillerie et même heure de départ. 

Nous nous mimes en marche sur trois colonnes, a huit 
heures du soir et nous la dirigeâmes vers l'isle de New York, 


par des chemins affreux qui ne nous permirent d'arriver qu' 
a quatre heures et demije] du matin, dans la plaine prés de 
Kings Bridge a vue des forts Anglois, nous nous mimes en 
bataille ; l'armée Américaine dont la droite etoit appuyée a 
la riviere qui sépare York Island du continent, avoit la 
droite de l'ordre de bataille, la Brigade de Bourbonnois le 
centre, et les deux bataillons de Grenadiers et Chasseurs la 
gauche; plusieurs corps de troupes américaines furent 
placés en avant et s'approchèrent du fort (N° 8) que les 
Anglois possèdent dans le continent et qui pouvoit être de 
nous a la distance d'un mille et demi. Il s'engagea quelques 
petites escarmouches entre des Dragons Anglois et des 
Dragons Américains mais qui n'etoient d'aucune consequence. 
Monsieur le Comte de Rochambeau et le General Washing- 
ton allèrent pendant la matinée reconnaître les forts, on leur 
tira quelques coups de fusil et de canon ; nous allâmes tous 
a mesure que nous en obtenions la permission faire nos re- 
connoissances particulières; partout nous trouvâmes des 
chasseurs Hessois qui nous tiroient des coups de fusil et des 
que des forts, l'on voyoit un petit attroupement a portée, on 
tiroit du canon. Nous n'avions ni tentes ni bagages avec 
nous, les troupes bivouaquèrent la nuit du 22 au 23, et. 
restèrent dans leur même position pendant la journée du 23 
que les Généraux employèrent aussi a faire leurs reconnois- 
sances sur tous les points de l'isle D'York. 

Du coté de Morissana, ils etoient couverts par le legion 
de Lauzun et un bataillon Américain, ils s'approchèrent très 
prés de deux pieces de canon et de deux cents hommes 
postés qui firent un feu assez vif de coups de canon et de 
coups de fusil ; personne cependant ne fut ni tué ni blessé, 
le C*'' de Damas seul, eut son cheval tué sous lui. 

Le 23 a cinq heures du soir, toutes les reconnoisauces 


étant finies, le General nous [donna] l'ordre du départ; 
notre marche pour retourner, s'est faite dans l'ordre inverse 
de celui que nous avions suivi dans notre marche en avant, 
les ennemis n'ont pas tenté de nous troubler, et a onze heures 
du soir nous sommes rentrés dans le camp de Philippsburg. 

Depuis le 23 de Juillet jusqu' au 14 D'Aoust nous avons 
tranquillement resté [s] dans notre môme camp de Philipps- 
burg, il n'y a eu d'opérations un peu militaires que quelques 
fourrages a Moreneck et a New Rochelle sur le bord du 
Sound ; ils etoient assez dans le voisinage de l'ennemi, qu'il 
ait pu pour tirer parti et nous troubler. Nous avons pris 
pour la force et la disposition de la chaîne qui devoit assurer 
ces fourrages, toutes les precautions que la proximité des 
anglois pouvoit exiger ; mais notre adversaire est peu entre- 
prenant et peu vigilant et aucun détachement n'a paru. 

le 14 D'Aoust, nous avons reçu l'importante nouvelle de 
la prochaine arrivée de Monsieur le Comte de Grasse, dans 
les parages de l'Amérique Septentrionale ; il a du, pour cet 
objet, mettre a la voile du Cap François, le 4 D'Aoust; il 
nous amené vingt huit vaisseaux de ligne, l'on annonce 
aussi trois mille hommes de troupes de débarquement, et 
toutes les garnisons des vaisseaux, doivent dit on, seconder 
nos operations de terre. 

Le 19 Aoust, l'armée Françoise a quittée le camp de 
Philippsburg, nous ne connoissons pas l'objet de notre 
marche et nous ignorons parfaitement si nous entreprendrons 
sur New York, ou si nous allons en Virginie, attaquer le 
Lord Cornwallis qui dans ce moment ci occupe le poste de 
Portsmouth avec une considerable quantité de troupes. Une 
arrière garde etoit essentielle dans la circonstance actuelle ; 
M'' de Rochambeau, la forma des deux bataillons de Gre- 
nadiers et Chasseurs de l'armée et de la legion de Lauzun, 


le V*"" de Viomesnil la commande en chef; je commande 
le Bataillon de Grenadiers et Chasseurs de la Brigade 
de Bourbounois, et le Chevalier de La Valette, Lieutenant 
Colonel du regiment de Saint Onge commande celui de la 
Brigade de Soisonnois; nous avons occupés les avenues 
de New York, pendant le déblai de l'armée et de son artil- 
lerie, les troupes se sont mises en marche a midi, et ce 
n'est qu'a deux heures et demi[e] que nous avons pu re- 
tirer nos postes, et commencer la notre, a un mille du camp 
les Bataillons de Grenadiers et chasseurs se sont reunis et 
a très peu de distance de la, nous avons commencé a trouver 
des Wagons cassés que nous ne pouvions pas laisser en 
arrière, et qui ont si fort retardé notre marche, qu' a huit 
heures du soir nous n'avions encore faits que quatre milles ; 
une pluie affreuse qui avoit abimée et rompu tous les chemins 
et qui nous avoit tous percé [s], engagea le Vicomte de Vio- 
mesnil, a nous faire arrêter a la maison V Alexander Lark, 
nous avons fait de grands feux, nous nous sommes sechés 
de notre mieux et nous avons bivouaqué. 

Le 20 D'Aoust a une heure après midi nous nous sommes 
remis en marche et avons été jusqu' a Léguais Tavern ou 
nous sommes arrivés a onze heures du soir, et ou nous avons 
bivouaqué encore. 

L'armée dont l'arriére garde avoit été séparée pendant 
ces deux jours, avoit été [dans] celui de son départ jusqu' a 
North Castel ou elle n'est arrivée que le 20 D'Aoust a cinq 
heures du matin, après dix sept heures de marche consecu- 
tive, elle y a passé toute la journée du vingt et nous scavons 
que nous devons la rejoindre demain. 

le 21 D'Aoust, nous avons quitté Leguids Tavern, et avons 
rejoint le corps de l'armée a Pea?is Bridge sur la riviere du 
Crotton, de la, le Bataillon de Grenadiers et Chasseurs de 


Bourbonnois a fait l'arriére garde immediate de l'armée, et 
celui de Soisonnois a reçu l'ordre de rester sur le bord du 
Crotton jusqu'à ceque tous les equipages fussent passés. 
Nous avons marché ce jour la jusqu'à Hounds Tavern ou 
nous avon retrouvé nos tentes et campé. Mon bataillon a 
campé séparément sur le flanc gauche de l'armée. 

Le 22 D'Aoust, j'ai fait l'avant garde immediate de l'armée, 
jusqu'au camp de Verplanks Point sur la riviere du Nord ; 
les Grenadiers et chasseurs y reçurent l'ordre de rentrer 
dans leur régiments et nous nous préparons, a passer la 
riviere avec toute la promptitude possible, la grosse artil- 
lerie et la Legion de Lauzun, doivent passer aujourd'hui 
encore et prendre poste de l'autre coté de la riviere D 'Hud- 

La journée du 23 Aoust a été employée a embarquer et a 
faire passer les equipages.* 

Le 24 Aoust la Brigade de Bourbonnois a passé la riviere 
D 'Hudson et a été camper a Haver strow prés de la maison 
de Smitt dans la quelle Arnold a formé avec le Major An- 
glois André le complot infâme de trahir sa patrie. 

Yoici maintenant notre ordre de marche le G-''^ Washing- 
ton avec prés de trois mille hommes nous precede d'un jour, 
la brigade de Bourbonnois et la legion de Lauzun, suivent 
le lendemain, et la marche de l'armée combinée est terminée 
le troisième jour par la Brigade de Soisonnois. Le General 
Washington a laissé au camp de Werplanks point, le General 

* Uu ennemi un peu hardi et un peu habile eut saisi une circonstance 
aussi favorable pour lui, et aussi embarassante pour nous, que celle de 
notx'e passage de la riviere du Nord ; je ne counois pas l'indifférence avec 
la quelle le Gai Clinton considère nos mouvemens, elle est pour moi une 
énigme indéchiffrable, et j'espre que l'on n'aura jamais a me reprocher 
d'en donner a deviner de pareilles. 


Heates avec trois mille hommes pour défendre l'état de New 
York et le cours de la riviere du Nord, j'ignore si [le] corps 
conservera sa position ou s'il remontra jusqu'à West point. 

le 25 Aoust, nous avons été camper a Soflfrin 

le 26 Aoust nous avons marché a Pomyton.^' Le corps 
du G"^ Washington se sépare de nous, et a l'air de se porter 
vers Paulus Hock ou vers Staten Island ; je ne puis fixer 
mon opinion sur l'objet de notre marche, je suis tenté de 
croire que les Américains agiront sur un des deux points 
qu'ils menacent, et je suis bien certain qu'ils n'opéreront 
point sans nous. 

Le 27 Aoust, nous avons été camper a Hanover ou Vibani 
prés de Morris Town, nous devons [y] séjourner demain. 
C'est ici que j'ai appris sous le plus grand secret d'un de 
mes amis, bien instruit, que toutes les manoeuvres par les 
quelles on a l'air d'en vouloir a New York ne sont qu'une 
feinte, que Lord Cornwallis est l'objet reel de nos marches, 
et que nous allons les diriger vers la Virginie. 

le 29 Aoust nous avons campé a Bullions Tacern 

le 30 Aoust a Sommerset 

le 31 Aoust a Prince Town 

le 1*'' de Septembre nous avons marché a Trenton ou nous 
passons la Delaware nous conservons nos tentes, mais les 
equipages passent dés aujourd'hui la riviere a gué. Demain 
matin les troupes la passeront en bateaux. 

le 2 nous avons campé a Red Lions Tavern 

* Après que les troupes etoient établies dans leur camp, j'ai profité 
du voisinage dans lequel nous nous trouvions du Totoha Fall pour 
l'aller voir, Quoique fatigué, je n'ai point regretté dix milles pour 
aller et dix miUe pour revenir qu'il a fallu que je fiisse pour satisftiire 
ma curiosité et j'ai trouvé le spectacle de cette cascade aussi singulier 
qu'il est imposant 


le 3 de Septembre nous avons marche a rinladeljyhie le 
congrès s'est trouvé a notre passage, nous lui avons renclsù 
les honneurs que le Roy nous ordonne de lui rendre, les 
treize membres ont oté leur treize chapeaux a chaque salut 
de drapeau et d'officier et c'est la, tout ce que j'en ai vu 
d'honnête et de remarquable. Après avoir traversé Phila- 
delphie nous avons été camper au bord de la riviere du 
iSc/mlkill, a une bonne mille du avant [devant ?] de la ville. 
Nous séjournons demain. 

le 5 de Septembre nous avons été camper a Cheasler ou 
nous avons appris la nouvelle certaine de l'arrivée du compte 
de Grasse avec vingt huit vaissseaux de ligne et trois mille 
cinq cents hommes de troupes aux ordres du Marquis de S* 
Simon qu'il a débarqué, le 27 Aoust, lendemain de son 
arrivée, avec ordre de se joindre au corps du M'** de la 

La joye qu'une aussi heureuse nouvelle répand parmi 
toutes nos troupes, celle dont elle pénétre le* G'"*^ Washing- 
ton et M^ le C*** de Rochambeau, est plus aisée a sentir 
qu'a exprimer. Le moment qui doit être la recompense de 
nos peines de nos fatigues et de notre eloignement approche, 
et j'espère que nous la sasirons. 

le 6 de Septembre nous avons campé a Wilmington 

* jai été aussi surpris que j'ai été touché de la joye bieu vraie et bien 
pure du G^i Washington. D'un naturel froid et d'un abord grave, et 
noble qui chez lui n'est que veritable dignité et qui sied si bien au 
chef de toute une nation, ses traits, sa phisionomie, son maintien 
tout a changé en un instant; il s'est dépouillé de sa qualité d'arbitre 
de l'amerique Septentrionale et s'est contenté pendant un moment de 
celle du citoyen heureux, du bonheur de son pays ; un enfant dont tous 
les voeux eussent été comblés n'eut pas prouvé une sensation plus 
vive, et je crois faire honneur aux sentimens de cet homme rare, en 
cherchant a en exprimer toute la vivacité. 


Le 7 de Septembre nous avons marché a Elk Toivn qui 
peut être considéré comme la source de la baye de Chesa- 
peack : Elk Town est plus connu sous le nom de Head of 
Elk parceque c'est la que la riviere D'Elk commence a 
devenir naviguable. 

Nous espérions trouver ici, assez de moyens pour embarquer 
toute notre armée mais il n'y a de batimens que pour 1200 
hommes et M' de Rochambeau les employe a embarquer les 
Grenadiers et Chasseurs et infanterie de la legion de Lauzun, 
le corps de 1 armée marchera par terre jusqu'à Baltimore, 
ou j'espère que nous nous embarquerons aussi, si l'on n'en 
trouvoit pas les moyens il faudroit marcher jusques a la 
riviere D'York, marche longue et pénible, mais nous scaurons 
la soutenir. Nous séjournerons demain neuf de Septembre 
ici, et nous nous remettrons en marche après demain. 

le 9 de Septembre nous nous sommes remis en marche ; 
la collonne des equipages a été séparée de la colonne des 
troupes a cause du peu du moyens que présente le ferri de 
la riviere la tSouskehana pour les passer en bateaux, ils 
sont obligés de faire un détour et de chercher un gué a sept 
milles au dessus du ferri ; le detour qu'ils font, les mauvais 
chemins qu'ils rencontreront, nous en priveront pendant plu- 
sieurs jours et nous faisons très gayement le troc de nos 
lits contre la simple peau d'ours. Les troupes ont passé 
le ferri de la Souskehana adjourd'hui 9, en bateaux, et nous 
avon été bivouaquer a un mille de Lower Ferri, ou nous 
avons traversé la riviere. 

le 10 de Septembre nous avons été bivouaquer a Burch 

le 11 de Septembre nous avons marché a Wait Marsch 
nous y avons été joints par nos chariots de tentes, mais nous 
n'entendons point encore parler de nos equipages. 


le 12 de Septembre nous soines arrivés a Ballhnorc. Le 
B°" de Viomesnil, nous a des notre arrivée fait part des mo- 
yens d'cmbarqement qu'on lui avoit fourni et qu'il croyoit 
suffisans pour embarquer la Brigade de Bourbonnois. Il 
nous chargea le Marquis de Laval et moi de les verifier et 
de faire l'estimation exacte du nombre d'hommes que chaque 
bateau pouvoit contenir, nous nous en sommes occupés avec 
tout le soin imaginable, mais malgré tout le désir que nous 
avons de réussir a nous embarquer ici, nous voyons qu'il 
est impossible d'y songer. Le General a ordonné pour de- 
main un essai d'embarquement et c'est d'après cela qu'il 
sera décidé si nous marcherons par terre ou si nous descen- 
drons la baye de Chesapeack. 

le 13 de Septembre, l'essai d'embarquement projette hier, 
s'est fait ce matin, le Baron de Viomesnil a jugé impossible 
d'exposer les troupes a la torture d'une position aussi gênée 
et aussi contrainte que celle dans la quelle elles seroient 
obligées de se tenir pendant plusieurs jours et aux risques 
que nous courions dans de petits bateaux indignement 
équipés de tous points ; il s'est déterminé a nous faire 
marcher par terre, tous les arrangemens de subsistance vont 
être pris, nous avons deux jours a rester ici et je vais les 
occuper aux reparations indispensables d'habillement et de 
chaussure ; nous nous remettons en marche le 1 6 et ce ne 
sera que vers la fin du mois au plutôt que nous arriverons a 
notre destination ; la fatigue d'une route aussi considerable 
n'est point une consideration qui m'afflige, mais il est a 
craindre qu'a notre arrivée les operations contre Lord Corn- 
wallis ne soient commencées peut être même finies, le B'''' 
de Viomesnil m'a cependant certifié qu'il avoit l'assurance 
positive de M'' le C" de Rochambeau de ne rien entrepren- 
dre avant l'arrivée du corps de notre armée. Puisse t'il 
tenir parole. 


L'orsque nous avons appris la nouvelle de l'arrivée du 
C*'' de Grasse, nous scavions déjà celle de L'Amiral Hood a 
Sandy Hock, et nous sommes certains qu'il a remis a la voile 
deux jours après son arrivée augmenté de l'escadre de l'Ami- 
ral Graves, nous croyons que la flotte Angloisc va chercher, ou 
a donner des secours a Cornwallis, ou croiser pour inter- 
cepter l'escadre de M"" de Barras que nous scavons partir de 
Rhode Island pour se joindre a M'^ de Grasse; nous ne 
pouvons pas être sans inquiétudes sur le sort de M"" de 

le 13 nos equipages nous ont joint. Un homme arrivé de 
la Virginie, nous a assuré que M"" de Grasse a appareillée de 
la baye de Chesapeack, et il parle d'un combat entre la flotte 
Françoise et la flotte Angloise, je n'y ajoute pas foi. 

le 15. Nous avons appris que les Grenadiers et Chas- 
seurs embarqués a Head of Elk. ont été forcés par le mau- 
vais tems de relâcher a Annapolis 

Le 16 de Septembre nous nous sommes remis en marche 
et avons été camper a Spurers Tavern, le Baron de Vio- 
mesnil a reçu la, une lettre * de M' de la Villebrune Capitaine 
du vaisseau le Romulus qui lui annonce son arrivée a Annap- 
olis avec tous les moyens suffisans pour nous embarquer et 
pour descendre la Baye de Chesapeack; cette nouvelle a 
changé les projets du General, il a fait assembler les Colonels 
pour nous communiquer son intention de marcher a Annapolis 
et de nous y embarquer a bord des batimens destinés a cet 

le 17 Septembre nous avons pris la route D 'Annapolis et 
avons été camper a Scots Plantation. 

* cette lettre uous donne aussi la certitude de la jonction de M>" de 
Barras avec M"" de Grasse. 


le 18 de Septembre nous avons marché a Annapolis ou 
nous avons trouvé les batimens qui nous etoient annonces, on 
travaille a force a l'embarquement et j'espère que nous pour- 
rons entrer demain au soir dans nos vaisseaux.* 

le 19 et le 20 de Septembre ont été employés a embarquer 
tout l'attirail de notre armée et nous ne sommes entrés 
dans nos vaisseaux que dans la matinée du 2 1 . Notre petite 
escadre est composée du Romulus, des frcgattes la Gentille, la 
diligente l'aigrette, V Iris et le Richmond, (les deux dernières 
viennent d'etre prises sur les Anglois) et de neuf batiuiens de 
transport, le tout, formant quinze voiles ; j'ai été embarqué 
sur la diligente ou j'v^i trouvé Lord Rawdon, le Colonel Doil 
et le Lieutenant de vaisseau du Roy D'Angleterre Clark, 
pris sur le paquebot la Clueen Charlotte, les deux derniers 
ont leurs femmes a bord. 

A quatre heures après midi nous avons mis a la voile par 
un vent frais qui s'est parfaitement soutenu, 

le 22 a quatre heures après midi nous avons découvert 

* Nous avons appris a Annapolis le combat que Mr le C» de Grasse 
a livré le 5 de Septembre a l'escadre Angloise commandée par l'Amiral 
Graves ; les Anglois ont paru a hauteur des Caps, Mr de Grasse qui 
n'etoit point encore joint a M^ de Barras et qui en etoit nécessaire- 
ment inquiet ne balança pas un moment a appareiller pour combattre 
l'ennemi, il coupa ses cables et fut eu un instant sous voiles, les enne- 
mis des qu'ils appercurent le dessein du General François, mirent toutes 
voiles dehors pour s'enfuir, et ne purent être joints que par les vais- 
seaux François doublés en cuivre, ce combat d'avant garde a arrière 
garde n'en a pas été moins vif et visiblement des avantageux pour les 
ennemis, la nuit a séparé les combattans, mais Mr de Grasse a con- 
tinué sa chasse pendant toute la journée du 6, sept il l'a abandonné 
par la crainte que le vent venant a changer ne donnât le moyeu aux 
Anglois d'entrer dans la baye de Chesapeack, il en reprit la route et 
y trouva l'escadre de Mr de Barras, qui s'y etoit introduite pendant 
son absence. 


les vaisseaux qui bloquent l'emboucliure de la riviere D'York, 
a six heures nous avons apperçu la grande flotte et a huit 
heures nous étions mouillé dans la baye de Lynchaven au 
milieu de l'armée navale. 

le 23 de Septembre a cinq heures du matin nous avons 
remis a la voile et sommes entrés dans la riviere de James 
que nous allons remonter. 

le 24 au soir nous sommes parvenus a Hogs Ferry, lieu 
de notre débarquement, la navigation de la riviere de James 
est très pénible, nous avons continuellement été obligés d'avoir 
la sonde a la main, et malgré toutes nos precautions, plu- 
sieurs batimens ont échoué et n'ont été relevés que par le 

le 25 de Septembre nos troupes ont été débarqués et 
nous avons été camper a une demie mille de Hogs fer ri 

le 26 a quatre hueres du soir nous nous sommes remis en 
marche et avons été camper a Williamsburg, nous avons 
appris la, que le Lord Cornwallis a envoyé quelques brûlots 
pour détruire les vaisseaux François qui le bloquent, mais 
ils n'ont eu aucun effet que celui d'effrayer beaucoup une 
partie des equipages. Lord Cornwallis travaille a force a 
se retrancher et sous peu de jours, nous marcherons au lieu 
de l'attaque. 

le 28 de Septembre toute l'armée combinée s'est mise en 
marche de Williams burg, pour aller camper sous la ville 
D'York; pendant une partie du chemin, l'armée a marchçe 
sur une seule colonne, l'armée Américaine ayant la tête de 
la marche, a quatre milles de notre destination a une 
fourche formée par deux chemins qui conduisent tous deux 
a York, la Coloune Américaine a pris le chemin de la droite 
et la colonne Françoise composée, i° des voluntaires aux 
ordres du B°° de S' Simon frère du General 2'''' des Grena- 


diers et chasseurs des sept regiments de notre armée 3 ° do 
Brigades D'Agenois, Soisonnois et Boiirbonnois, marchant 
la gauche en tcte, a pris cckii de la gauche. Nous nous 
sommes séparés brigade par Brigade a un mille de la place 
et en avons formé l'investiture, a peine la Brigade de Bour- 
bonnois etoit elle arrivée a la place qui lui est destinée, qu' 
on est venu nous avertir que plusieurs troupes ennemies pa- 
roissoient. M"" le C*° de Rochambeau donna ordre au M'^ de 
Laval de prendre les piquets et l'Artillerie de la Brigade 
pour leur donner chasse; nous nous mimes en marche et 
après cinq ou six coups de canons, ces petites troupes prirent 
la fuite. 

Le 29 Septembre le G'''^ Washington avança avec l'armée 
Américaine pour serrer son investiture; le corps Anglois 
campé en avant se replia sur York, les Anglois tireront quel- 
ques coups de canon qui n'eurent d'autre effet que de 
blesser un seul homme. 

Dans la nuit du 29 au 30. les Anglois dont les postes 
avancés touchoient aux nôtres, abandonnèrent ces postes 
et évacuèrent deux redoutes du coté des François une 
redoute du coté des Américains et tous les postes et 
petites batteries qu'ils avoient construits pour la defense 
d'un crique que j'aurois cru être pour eux de la plus 
grande importance. Je suivis M'' le C'° de Rochambeau 
dans la journée qu'il fit pour reconnaître ces redoutes. 
Les endroits évacués nous permirent de voir et de juger de 
tout le terrain qui environne la ville et des ouvrages qui 
doivent la deffendre ; et il me semble que par cette raison, 
l'ennemi eut du (quoique par elles mêmes ces redoutes ne 
soient pas d'une grande importance) les conserver jusqu'à 
cequ'il eut été forcé de les abandonner. Il nous eut réduit 
a tâtonner il nous auroit tenu dans l'incertitude, il auroit 



peut être B^arde nos ouvrages, au lieu de nous laisser maî- 
tres de tous les abords de la place jusqu' a la distance de 
trois a quatre cent toises. 11 est clair que les approches 
sont on ne peut pas plus aisées, du convert par tout, 
quelques petits endroits dominans, et les ouvrages peu forts 
peu considerables par eux mêmes et a ce qu'il me semble, 
trop étendus, formant une trop grande enceinte pour être 
bien deffendus. Nous avons examiné avec soin les redoutes 
évacuées, elles sont peu solides, des parapets de peu d'épais- 
seur, un terrain sabloneux qui oblige a les etayer de peur 
qu'elles ne s'écoulent, mais des abbatis excellents qui n'ont 
d'autres défauts que d'etre de bois de sapin et aisés conse- 
quemment a mettre en feu. J'ai avancé trois cents pas plus 
près de la ville, j'ai vu un ravin quia a peu prés 25 pieds de 
profondeur qui entoure toute la place et donne au dessus et 
au dessous de la ville, dans la riviere D'York, ce ravin me 
. paroit, d'une defense excellente et je ne conçois pas com- 
ment les ennemis l'ont abandonné. Notre General fit sur 
le cliamp occuper les deux redoutes évacuées, l'une par les 
Grenadiers de Bourbonnois, l'autre par cinquante chasseurs 
du regiment E,'*^ Deuxponts ; le reste du Bataillon de G'^'^ et 
Chasseurs de la Brigade et ses piquets, ont été placés un 
peu en arrière, derrière un revers qui les met a l'abri de canon. 
Cette reconnoissance et tous ces mouvements n'ont pu se faire 
sans être apperçus de la place et sans nous faire tirer du 
canon, ils nous en ont ajusté huit ou dix coups, mais personne 
n'a été ni tué ni blessé. 

Dans la même matinée, le V^ de Viomesnil voulant recon- 
naître les ouvi'ages ennemis en avant de notre gauche, poussa 
les volontaires de S* Simon en avant ; ils se rendirent maitre 
du bois qui couvre ces ouvrages en forçant les postes An- 
glois qui le gardoient a se replier sur une redoute qui fit 


un feu assez vif de boulets et de mitraille, et tua un Hous- 
sard, cassa le bras a un autre et la cuisse a un Officier du 
regiment D'Agenois. M'' le C'° de Rochambeau ordonna au 
retour de cette reconnoissance que le camp de la Brigade 
de Bourbonnois fut changé, nous le levâmes dans le courant 
de l'aprés midi et l'avons établi dans un bois, a un demi 
mille en avant de notre premiere position. 

le 1"^' D'Octobre a la pointe du jour les américains com- 
mencèrent a travailler a une redoute intermédiaire entre les 
redoutes évacuées du coté des François et celle que l'ennemi 
avoit abandonné du coté des Américains. Les Anglois ne 
tardèrent pas a s'en appercevoir et ont tiré au moins trois 
cents coups de canon dans le courant de la journée, qui n'ont 
tué que deux hommes et n'ont point interrompu le travail. 

Dans le même journée j'ai fait ma reconnoissance particu- 
lière de la gauche de l'ennemi et je n'y ai pas trouvé les de- 
fenses plus respectables que du coté que j'ai déjà vu, le ter- 
rain y est un peu plus découvert et donne plus de facilité a 
l'assiégé pour diriger des coups sur les travaux de l'as- 
siégeant, mais c'est la le seul avantage que ce coté la, pro- 
cure a l'ennemi ; je me suis porté jusques contre la riviere 
D'York et j'ai vu tous les batimens des Anglois, la position 
de Glocester et les vaisseaux François qui bloquent la 

le 2 D'Octobre. Les Américains continuent leur travail 
aux redoutes, les Anglois tirent du canon, mais toute la perte 
de la journée n'a été que d'un seul homme tué. 

J'ai fait aujourd'hui ma reconnoissance de la droite des 
ennemis et je juge qu' elle est de toutes les parties de leur 
ligne de defense, la meilleure. 

Le feu que les ennemis ont fait ces deux derniers jours 
sur la redoutes que les Américains construisent, a conside- 


rablement diminué, ils ne tirent plus que de tems en tems un 
coup de canon. 

On a entendu dans la matinée une fusilade assez vive de 
l'autre coté de la riviere, a prés laquelle on a vu revenir la 
cavalerie de Tarleton grand train et en desordre, on juge 
qu'elle sera sortie des lignes de Glocester pour attaquer la 
legion de Lauzun, et nous espérons qu'elle aura été repous- 

Le 4 D'Octobre, la nouvelle de l'engagement de la legion 
de Lauzun et de celle de Tarleton est vraie, la legion de 
Lauzun a repoussé celle de Tarleton, le Duc de Lauzun a 
chargé a plusieurs reprises ; il etoit soutenu par M'' de Choisi 
qui venoit d'arriver avec huit cents hommes des garrisons 
des vaisseaux. 

Nous avons aussi reçu ce matin la nouvelle certaine qu' a 
la suitte du combat naval du 5 de Septembre ; le vaisseau 
Anglois, le Terrible de 74 canons a été si maltraité que les 
ennemis l'ont fait sauter ; en outre le London le Schrewsbury, 
le Robuste et le Prudent sont en mauvais état. 

Dans la nuit du 4 au 5 Octobre nous avons envoyé de 
nos redoutes plus de patrouilles qu'a l'ordinaire et le Y*" 
de Viomesnil Officier G'''^ de jour, leur a ordonné expressé- 
ment de se porter jusques sous les retranchemens des enne- 
mis : L'ordre a été parfaitement eecuté, presque toutes nos 
patrouilles ont tiré leurs coups de fusil contre les ennemis 
et il paroit que cela lui a donné de l'inquiétude, car il a fait 
pendant toute la nuit un feu de canon considerable et soutenu. 
La redoute nouvelle que les Américains ont construit et 
celle que Anglois avoient évacué qu'ils ont reparé, sont 
toutes deux entièrement achevées. 

La nuit du 5 au 6 s'est passée comme la précédente, 
mêmes patrouilles et même feu de canon. 


Le 6 Octobre, tout étant préparé, les fascines, gabions, 
claies et saucissons faits, l'artillerie de siege* presque entière- 
ment a,rrivée, le lieu de la tranchée bien reconnu ; le General 
a donné ordre de l'ouvi-ir ce môme soir. 

Les regiments de Bourbonnois et de Soisonnois ont reçu 
ordre de la monter et deux cents cinquante hommes par 
chacun des quatre regiments, qui ne sont pas de tranchée) 
(le regiment de Tourraine ayant une mission particulière) 
sont commandés pour le travail. Toutes ces troupes ont ete 
rendues a la queue de la tranchée a cinq heures du soir, et 
Ai^ le Baron de Viomesnil Officier G""^ de la tranchée a des 
le moment disposé les régiments dans les places ou ils doivent 
la couvrir. Les Officiers du génie ont a la nuit close, placé 
les travailleurs et a huit heures du soir le travail a commencé. 
Les Américains qui ont la droite du travail et de l'attaque, ont 
fait pareille disposition ; le travail a été très bien conduit 
et dans le plus grand silence. L'ennemi a fort peu tiré. La 
droite de l'attaque commence a la riviere D'York a 200 
Toises de la place et la paralelle s'étend en augmentant de 
50 a 60 Toises d'eloignement jusques près de la redoute 
nouvellement construite par les Américains. 

Le Regiment de Tourraine est détaché de l'armée et a une 
commission particulière, il est chargé de la construction et 
de la defense d'une batterie de huit pieces de canon et de 
six obusiers et mortiers que l'on construit a la droite des 
ennemis et qui sert de fausse attaque, les ennemis ont dirigé 
cette nuit leur feu sur ce travail, un Capitaine d'artillerie a 
eu la cuisse fracassée, un Grenadier a été tué et six autres 
ont été blessés. 

* Notre artillerie de siege etoit embarqué sur les batimens qui 
sont venus avec l'escadre de M^ le C^ de Barras, ou l'a débarqué a 
sept milles D'York. 


le 7 D'Octobre, le regiment D'Agenois et le regiment de 
Saint Onge ont relevé la tranchée a Midi, elle est assez 
avancée pour pouvoir déjà j placer les premiers Bataillons 
des regiments de tranchée, les seconds Bataillons sont 
placés dans les ravins en arrière, mais a portée de venir 
au premier mouvement des ennemis, soutenir leurs premiers 

le 8 D'Octobre : les regiments de Gatinois et de Eoyal 
Deuxponts ont monté la tranchée, on travaille a force aux bat- 
teries, qui me paroissent parfaitement disposées et j'espère 
qu' incessamment nous verrons l'effet. 

le 9 Octobre les regiments de Bourbonnois et de Soison- 
nois ont relevé la tranchée ; a quatre heures du soir une bat- 
terie américaine de deux mortiers et huit pieces de canon 
de dix huit et vingt quatre a commencée a tirer, et la batterie 
du regiment de Tourraine a aussi commencée son feu. 

Le 10 Octobre une des batteries du notre front d'attaque 
composée de quatre pieces de 24 huit pieces de seize quatre 
mortiers et deux obusiers a été démasquée et on l'a fait jouer ; 
la supériorité du feu de ces différentes batteries sur celles de 
l'ennemi a fait taire le feu de la place ; tous nos feux ont été très 
bien dirigés, on peut remarquer plusieurs parapets déjà écretés 
et nous scavons par le rapport de plusieurs déserteurs que 
les ennemis ont été fort étonnés de l'ouverture de nos bat- 
teries ; et que nos bombes surtout [les] inquiètent beaucoup. 
A peine tirent ils a present six coups de canon par heure, 
tandis que jusques la, ils avoient fait un feu assez soutenu 
et assez bien dirigé j nous n'avons pas cependant encore a 
nous plaindre de la quantité d'hommes tués et blessés. La 
tranchée a été montée aujourd'hui par les regiments D'Age- 
"nois et de Saint Onge. 

L'ennemi voulant ce matin faire une tentative sur M'' de 


Choisi, a fait remonter la riviere a plusieurs bateaux plats 
remplis de troupes, mais M"" de Choisi instruit du projet a 
fait amener du canon et les a forcé a s'éloigner. 

Le 11 Octobre les regiments de Gatinois de Royal Deux- 
ponts ont relevé la tranché et dans la même nuit, nous avons 
construit notre seconde paralelle a la petite portée du fusil 
de la place, nous attendre a une sortie vigoureuse ; on com- 
manda en consequence quelques Compagnies auxiliaires de 
Grenadiers et chasseurs, et Monsieur le Chevalier de Chaste- 
lux Ofificier General de tranchée, disposa toutes les 
troupes de manière a recevoir l'ennemi de la façon la plus 
avantageuse. A huit heures du soir, on commença le travail 
a dix heures nous entendîmes une vingtaine de coups de 
fusil ; tout le monde crut que c'etoit le commencement d'une 
attaque; mais ce n'etoit qu' une patrouille Angloise, il 
y eut plusieurs petites fusillades de ce genre pendant la nuit 
et c'est a quoi se bornèrent toutes les tentatives extérieures 
de l'ennemi ] du reste il tira beaucoup de coups de canon, 
de bombes et d'obusiers, mais le feu de notre artillerie garda 
cependant sa supériorité et celui de l'ennemi eut très peu 
d'effet. A la pointe du jour nos travailleurs etoient assés 
profondément enterrés pour n'avoir plus de grands risques 
a courir. 

La crainte que le feu de nos batteries peu élevés au dessus 
des têtes des travailleurs, ne causât des accidens, fit donner 
ordre a notre Ai'tillerie de le suspendre j l'ennemi profita de 
ce moment de silence pour faire le feu le plus vif sur nos 
ouvrages ; l'on retracta alors l'ordre et l'on rendit a nos 
batteries la liberté de tirer. Une demie heure après que 
notre feu fut en train, celui des ennemis diminua, et lorsque 
nous descendîmes la tranchée, il etoit réduit a cequ' il est 


le 12 Octobre les regiments de Bourbonnois et de Soison- 
nois ont relevé la tranchée. 

• le 13. les Regiments D'Agenois et de Saint Onge ont monté 
la tranchée; l'emplacement de toutes le batteries de la 
seconde paralelle est marqué, et dans deux jours elles pour- 
ront jouer. Deux redoutes ennemies interrompent entière-, 
ment la suitte de notre seconde paralelle, qui doit néces- 
sairement être continuée jusqu'à la riviere D'York, tant 
que ces deux ouvrages appartiendront a l'ennemi, clic sera 
imparfaite et nous espérons tous qu'ils seront incessamment 

Le 14 Octobre les regiments de Gatinois et de W^ Deux- 
ponts ont relevé la tranchée ; a l'assemblée du régiment de 
R"^^ Dcuxponts pour la monter ; le B°' de Viomesnil m'or- 
donna de venir le trouver a notre arrivée a la queue de la 
tranchée; j'exécutai ses ordres; il sépara les Grenadiers 
et chasseurs des deux regiments de tranchée et me donna 
le Commandement du Bataillon qu'il venoit d'en former, en 
me disant qu'il croyoit me donner par la, une preuve de son 
estime et de sa confiance, ses paroles n'etoient point un énigme 
pour moi, je ne pris point le change sur l'objet auquel il me 
destinoit, un moment après il confirma mon opinion en me 
distant que je ferois dans le courant de la nuit l'attaque 
d'une des redoutes qui empechoient la continuation de notre 
seconde paralelle, il me donna l'ordre de placer mon bataillon 
a couvert, et d'attendre qu'il m'envoyât chercher pour faire 
avec lui la reconnoissance de la redoute ; il m'y mena dans 
le courant de l'aprés midi, avec M"" le Baron de Lestrade, 
lieutenant Colonel du regiment de Gatinois, qu'il m'avoit 
donné pour second, et deux sergents des Grenadiers et chas- 
seurs de ce regiment, hommes aussi braves qu'intelligents et 
qui furent chargés particulièrement de reconnaître avec la 


dernière exactitude, le chemin que nous aurions a tenir pen- 
dant la nuit. Nous examinâmes avec le plus grand soin, 
l'objet de l'attaques et tous ses details, le G""^ nous expliqua 
bien clairement ses intentions. M"" de l'estrade par son 
experience et la connoissance parfaite qu'il a, de la conduite 
a tenir dans de pareilles circonstances, auroit d'ailleurs 
supplée aux fautes que j'aurois pu commettre, et le General 
m'ordonna ensuite d'aller former mon bataillon et de le 
conduire dans le lieu de la tranchée le plus voisin de celui 
dont nous devions en déboucher j'assemblai les Capitaines 
de mon bataillon, .et leur déclarai la comission dont on 
nous honoroit, je n'avois point a animer leur courage ni 
celui des troupes que je commandois mais je devois leur faire 
connaître la volonté du General et l'ordre exact dans lequel 
nous devions marcher a l'ennemi. 

Nous nous mimes ensuite en marche pour entrer dans la 
tranchée, nous passâmes devant beaucoup de troupes, soit de 
tranchée, de travailleurs ou de Grenadiers et Chasseurs, 
auxiliaires tout le monde me souhaita du succès, de la gloire, 
et me témoigna des regrets de ne pouvoir pas m'accom- 
pagner, ce moment me parut bien doux, bien propre a élever 
l'âme et a animer le courage : Mon frère. Mon frère surtout 
et je ne l'oublierai jamais, me donna des marques d'une ten- 
dresse qui me pénétra jusqu'au fonds du coeur j j'arrivai a 
l'endroit que le B"" de Viomesnil m'avoit indiqué, j'y attendis 
la nuit close ; et peu de tems après qu'elle fut fermée, le 
G''^ me fit sortir de la tranchée et m'ordonna de ranger ma 
colonne dans l'ordre de l'attaque, il m'instruisit du signal 
de six bombes consécutives tirées d'une de nos batteries, au 
quel je devois me porter en avant; et j'attendis dans cette 
position le signal convenu. 

Les chasseurs du regiment de Gatinois avoient la tête de 


ma colonne, ils etoient en colonne par pelotons, les cinquante 
premiers portoient des fascines, sur les cinquante autres il y 
en avoit huit qui portoient des échelles, venoient ensuite les 
Grenadiers de Gatinois rangés par files puis les Grenadiers 
et Chasseurs du reg* de R'^ Deuxponts, en colonne par sec- 
tions ; le tout etoit precede des deux sergents de Gatinois 
dont j'ai déjà parlé et de huit charpentiers, quatre du regi- 
ment de Gatinois et quatre de celui de R''^' Deusponts ; les 
chasseurs des regiments de Bourbonnois etD'Agenois, etoient 
a cent pas derrière mon bataillon et destinés a me soutenir, 
et le second Bataillon du regiment de Gatinois commandé 
par M'' le C"' de Rostaing terminoit ma reserve. J'avois 
deffendu avant de me mettre en marche que personne ne 
tirât avant d'etre arrivé sur la crête du parapet de la redoute 
et qu'établi sur le parapet personne ne sautât dans le re- 
tranchement avant d'en avoir reçu l'ordre. 

L'attaque des troupes Francoises etoit combinée avec 
celle que les troupes américaines faisoient a ma droite d'une 
redoute qui etoit appuyée a la riviere D'York, cette redoute 
etoit de la même importance par l'obstacle qu'elle apportoit 
a la continuation de la seconde paralelle: le M'" de la 
Fayette commandoit cette attaque qui devoit se faire a la 
même heure et commencer au même signal que la notre. 

Les six bombes furent enfin tirés et je me mis en marche 
dans le plus grand silence ; a cent vingt ou cent trente pas, 
nous fumes découverts et le soldat Hessois que etoit en sen- 
tinelle sur le parapet nous cria un Werda^ auquel nous ne 
répondîmes rien et doublâmes le pas; l'ennemi commença 

* Les Officiers Anglois pris dans la redoute, m'ont dit depuis, que 
le moment ou nous fumes découverts fut saisi par le Commandant 
Anglois, nommé Makferson et par une trentaine d'hommes pour se 
sauver honteusement 


son feu l'instant d'après le Werda ; nous ne perdimes pas 
un moment pour arriver aux abattis qui forts, bien conservés et 
a vingt cinq pas de la redoute, nous coûtèrent du monde nous 
arrêtèrent pendant quelques minutes, mais furent franchis 
avec une resolution parfaite, nous nous précipitâmes ensuite 
dans le fossé et chacun chercha a se faire jour au travers 
des fraises et a monter sur le parapet* nous y arrivâmes 
d'abord eu petit nombre, et je fis commencer a tirer ; l'ennemi 
faisoit un feu très vif nous chargeoit même a coups de 
bayonette, mais ne fit reculer personne. Les Charpentiers 
qui avoient vigoureusement travaillé de leur coté, avoient 
fait des brèches aux pallisades qui facilitoient la montée au 
gros de nos troupes, le parapet se garnissoit a vue d'oeil, 
notre feu augmentoit et faisoit un effet terrible sur l'ennemi 
qui s'etoit placé derrière une espèce de retranchement de ton- 
neaux, ou il etoit bien rassemblé et ou tous nos coups por- 
toient. Nous étions parvenus au moment ou je voulois 
ordonner de sauter dans la redoute et de charger l'ennemi 
a la bayonette, l'orsqu'il mit bar les armes ; et nous y sau- 
tâmes pour lors avec plus de tranquillité et moins de risques ; 
j'enôonnai sur le champ le cri de vive le Roy qui fut répété 
par tous les Grenadiers et Chasseurs bien portants, par 
toutes les troupes de la tranchée et au quel l'ennemi repondit 
par une salve Générale d'Artillerie et de coups de fusil ; 
jamais je ne vis un spectacle plus beau et plus majestueux. Je 
ne m'y arrêtai pas pend* long tems, j'avois mes soins a donner 
aux blessés, l'ordre a faire observer parmi les prisonniers 

* cela n'etoit pas chose aisée je n'ai pu y parvenir sans être aidé ; 
j'etois retombé dans le fossé après une premiere tentative ; Mr de 
Sillegue jeune officier des chasseurs de Gatiuois qui m'avoit devancé, 
apperçut mon embarras et me donna son bras pour m'aider a monter, 
il reçut presque au même instant un coup de fusil dans la cuisse 


et M*" le B*^" de Viomesnil vint au même instant me donner 
celui de me préparer a faire une vigoureuse defense il eut 
été important pour l'ennemi de chercher a reprendre ce 
poste, un ennemi nerveux n'y eut pas manqué et le B°" de 
Viomesnil jugeoit le General Anglois d'après lui même. Je 
fis mes dispositions de mon mieux, l'ennemi faisoit pleuvoir 
des boulets sur nous, je ne doutois pas que l'idée du B°'' de 
Viomesnil ne se vérifiât; enfin l'orsque tout fut fini; un sen- 
tinelle chargé d'observer les mouvement du dehors, m'appella 
et me dit qu'il paroissoit des ennemis ; j'avançai ma tête sur 
le parapet et au même instant un boulet qui ricocha dans 
le parapet et passa très prés de ma tête, me couvrit le visage 
de sable et de petit gravier ; je soufFrois beaucoup, et je fus 
obligé de quitter la place et de me faire conduire a l'hôpital 

Cinquante six Grenadiers et Chasseurs du regiment de 
Gatinois, vingt et un Grenadiers et Chasseurs de R-'^ Deux- 
ponts six chasseurs d'Agenois et neuf soldats du. 2°"'* Bataillon 
de Gatinois ont été tués on blessés a cette attaque qui n'a 
durée que sept minutes. En outre M"" de Berthelot Capitaine 
en second du reg* de Gatinois a été tué, M"^ de Sireuil Capi- 
taine des chasseurs de ce reg' a en une jambe fracassée*; et 
M"^ de Sillegue sous lieutenant de chasseurs a eu une cuisse 
percée. Le Ch'^*' de La Meth a reçu deux coups de fusil l'un 
lui casse une rotule et l'autre, lui perce l'autre cuisse ; il 
etoit venu a cette attaque comme volontaire ainsi que le C® 
de Damas, j'avpis cherché a les en empêcher, mais ils n'écou- 
tent ni l'un ni l'autre des representations qui les éloignent 
de la gloire. Le 0**^ de Vauban etoit aussi a mon attaque 

* Mr de Sireuil est mort quarante jours après, des suittes de sa bles- 


et etoit chargé par M"" le 0'"= de Rochambeau de s'y trouver 
pour lui rendre compte de l'événement. 

Avec des troupes aussi bonnes, aussi braves, et aussi 
disciplinées que celles que j'ai eu l'honneur de conduire a 
l'ennemi, on peut tout entreprendre, et être sur de réussir 
si l'impossibilité n'en est pas prouvée ; je leur dois le plus 
beau jour de ma vie, et le souvenir ne s'en effacera certain- 
ment jamais de ma mémoire ; puissai-je en pareilles circon- 
stances me retrouver encore avec elles ; et puissai-je surtout 
après avoir encore été heureux par elles, leur donner des 
preuves, plus réelles et plus vraies, de mon zélé et de mon 
ardeur a les servir. 

Dans le courant de cette nuit la seconde paralelle a été 
continuée, elle traverse la redoute prise par les François et 
aboutit a la redoute prise par les Américains dont l'attaque 
a eu le même succès que la notre. 

La journée du 15 Octobre a été employée a perfectionner 
la second paralelle. Dans la nuit du 15 au 16, l'ennemi a 
fait une sortie ; la tranchée n' etoit pas gardée avec toutes 
les precautions desirables, beaucoup de monde dormoit, peu 
de sentinelles, un piquet qui ne se mefioit de rien, des batteries 
ou il n'y avoit personne ; Enfin l'ennemi est parvenu a en- 
clouer quatre pieces de canon d'une batterie Françoise et 
deux d'une batterie américaine, on a marché aussitôt a 
l'ennemi mais sa retraite etoit déjà faite et on n'a pas pu 
l'atteindre. Les pieces de canon enclouées, ont été dégor- 
gées dans la matinée du 1 6 ; presque toutes nos batteries 
seront établies et prêtes a jouer demain. 

Le 1 7 Octobre on a commencé a tirer a ricochet avec tant 
de succès qu'une grande partie des fraises des ouvrages 
de la place, ont été abbatues et dans plusieurs endroits, des 
brèches ont été commencées, a Dix heures du matin Lord 


Cornwallis a envoyé un parlementaire au General Washing- 
ton pour decider du sort des garnisons de York et Glocester 
et demander une suspension d'armes ; on a dés le même 
moment commencé a travailler a la capitulation, mais on a 
continué a tirer jusqu'à quatre heures ; qu'a la sollicitation 
d'un nouveau Parlementaire, le feu a cessé de part et d'autre, 
les négociations s'entament on assure même que les princi- 
paux articles en sont déjà réglés. 

Le 18 Octobre, le travail de la capitulation a continué, il 
est dit on survenu quelques petites discussions qui en ont 
retardé la conclusion, mais elle a été définitivement terminée 
le soir. 

le 19 Octobre a neuf heures du matin la capitulation a été 
signée et a quatre heures après midi, l'armée Angloise pris- 
onniers de guerre composée, du V^' Bataillon des gardes du 
Eoy D'Angleterre, du 17''^°^'^ 23'™' ^S'""^^ et 43'^"^^ regiments 
d'Infanterie du 71""' 76^6^6 ^t 80'""^^ regiments de Monta- 
gnards Ecossois, Des regiments Hessois, du Prince hérédi- 
taire et de Boos, des regiment D'Anspach et Bareuth, de la 
Light Infanterie, de la British Legion et des Queens Ranger 
a défilée devant les armées Françoise et Américaine rangées 
en Bataille, l'une vis a vis de l'autre ; l'armée prisonnière a 
mis ensuite les armes bas et est rentrée sans armes dans la 
ville D'York. Les Regiments de Bourbonnois et de Royal 
Deuxponts, qui montoient la tranchée l'orsque les négocia- 
tions ont commencées, n'ont été relevées qu'après la céré- 

Le nombre des ennemis prisonniers tant de troupes de 
terre que matelots, passe 8000 ; deux cents quatorze pieces 
de canon, dont 74 en Bronze sont tombées entre nos mains. 

le 21 D'Octobre, les differens regiments prisonniers, sont 
sortis regiments par regiments de la ville D'York pour être 


conduits a leurs différentes destinations, soit en Virginie 
Maryland, ou dans la Pensilvanie. 

Les Ordres ont été donnés aux Aides Maréchaux Généraux 
des logis de l'armée, pour aller faire les logemens de l'armée 
Françoise qui doit incessamment prendre ses quartiers 
D'Hyver et occuper les villes de Williamsburg, Hampton, 
York et Glocester. 

M'' le C*^ de Rochambeau a bien voulu m'annoncer qu'il me 
destinoit a porter en France le Duplicata de la nouvelle de 
la prise du Lord Cornwallis, et m'a donné l'ordre de me 
tenir prêt a m'embarquer au premier jour. 

le 24 Octobre, après avoir pris les ordres de M"" le C*° 
de Rochambeau, et reçu les paquets qu'il me confioit, je me 
suis embarqué a York pour aller a l'armée navale et prendre 
les ordres de M'' le Comte de Grasse, j'ai couché a bord de 
la Ville de Paris et le 25, M""^ de Damas, de Laval, de Charlus 
et moi, nous sommes embarqués a bord de La fregatte 
L'Andromaque sur la quelle nous devons partir pour la 

le 26 nous avons été retenus par les vents; le 27 a deux 
heures après midi nous avons appareillé par un bon vent 
frais. Après avoir passé les bancs de * Middle Ground, au 
moment ou nous allions nous trouver a la hauteur du Cap 
Henri, nous avons vus, en avant de nous la fregatte la Con- 
corde faisant des signaux, en repetition de ceux de la fregatte 
L'Hermione, qui croisoit entre les Caps Charles et Henri, 
pour avertir l'armée de ce qui se passoit au dehors ; l'Her- 
mione signala une escadre et le signal numeraire etoit de 

* Mr le Cte de Grasse [qui avoit] mouillé clans les commencemens 
de sa station dans la Baye de Linchaven, avoit quitté cette position et 
avoit jette l'ancre derrière les bancs de Middle Ground 


quarante quatre voiles, il n'y avoit pas a douter que ce ne 
fussent les ennemis, qu'on nous avoit déjà annoncés trois 
jours auparavant, il nous etoit impossible de continuer notre 
route, et nous virâmes de bord pour entrer dans la riviere 
de James. 

le 28 Octobre, les ennemis continuent de croiser a notre 
vue, et nous apprenons qu'ils amènent sis mille hommes de 
troupes de terre au secours du Lord Cornwallis, j'imagine 
qu'ils seront bientôt instruits de sa reddition et qu'ils 
renonceront a attaquer avec vingt huit de leurs vais- 
seaux trente six vaisseaux François. Notre position dans 
la riviere de James, n'étant pas très bonne, nous avons ap- 
pareillé aujourd'hui a midi pour retourner a la grande escadre, 
dont nous attendrons la sortie poui» nous mettre en route. 

le 29 L'Escadre Angloise reste toujours a notre vue, et 
nous attendons avec impatience que M*" le C*'' de Grasse 
fasse le signal d'appareiller ; nous avons été aujoui'd'hui a 
son bord, il est très souffrant d'un etouffement considerable ; 
nous y avons appris que les raisons du retard qu'il met dans 
sa sortie, sont l'embarquement des troupes de la division de 
M'' de S* Simon il attend en outre quatre cent boeufs pour 
l'approvisionnement de l'armée navale, et ne voulant plus 
rentrer dans la baye de Chesapeack, il est obligé d'attendre 
que ses vaisseaux soient entièrement prêts. 

le 30 Octobre, on n'a pas eu connoissance de l'ennemi ce 

Le l*"" de Novembre l'ennemi n'ayant point paru depuis 
deux jours ; M"^ le C*^ de Grasse envoya un enseigne de 
vaisseau a bord de L'Andromaque pour nous souhaiter un 
bon voyage, et permettre a notre Capitaine, M"" de Ravenel 
de mettre a la voile. Nous avons appareillé a onze heures, 
nous avons doublé le Cap Henri a deux heures et avons 


ensuite porté le Cap a L'Est, l'Hermionc nous a escorté 
jusqu' a la nuit. 

le 2 de Novembre a sept heures et demi[e] du matin nous 
avons apperçu une voile dans le plus grand eloigncment et 
qui sur le champ nous a donné chasse. Les ordres de M"^ le 
C*® de Grasse pour éviter tout combat, etoient precis et 
clairs, aussi avons nous mis toute voile dehors pour nous en 
aller. Le bâtiment chasseur marchoit mieux que nous, qui 
ne marclions pas bien, et si le jour avoit encore duré deux 
heures, nous étions joints ; nous avons fait fausse route pen- 
dant la nuit, et le Lendemain nous n'avons rien apperçu. 

Depuis le 2 de Novembre jusqu'au 20, jour de notre arrivée 
en France, nous avons toujours été en bonne route, des vents 
frais et forcés nous ont fait faire plus de chemin que nous 
ne pouvions l'espérer de la marche de notre fregatte, la 
traversée a été dure, nous avons essuyé des coups de vent, 
mais ils sccondoient nos voeux et remplissoient notre objet. 
Après dix neuf jours de navigation, nous avons revu les côtes 
de France et le 24 de Novembre j'ai joui a Versailles du 
bonheur inexprimable d'embrasser les êtres qui me sont 
le plus chers. 

La vie de l'homme est mêlée de peines, mais on ne peut 
plus s'en plaindre quand on a joui des moments délicieux 
qui en sont le prix, un seul instant les fait oublier, et cet 
instant bien senti en fait même désirer de nouvelles, pour 
jouir encore une fois de leur recompense 



Lettre que M. le Baron de Viomesnil Commandant Gen- 
eral de l'attaque des deux redoutes, m'a écrit en m'envoyant 
le comte qu'il rendoit des ces attaques a M. le Comte de 

Au Camp devant York le 16 Octobre 1781 

Yous avez eu trop de part Monsieur le Comte au succès 
qui doit accélérer le capitulation de Lord Cornwallis, pour 
que je ne me fasse pas un devoir de vous addresser ci-joint 
la copie du compte que j'ai rendu a M. le t!**^ de Rochambeau 
des événements de la tranchée du quatorze au quinze. Si je^ 
me suis trompé sur quelques uns des objets que vous avez pu 
voir avant moi ; vous me ferez grand plaisir de me le mander, 
afin que je puisse redresser mes erreurs ; Je desire bien 
vivement que les grades que j'ai demandé pour vous et 
M. de L'Estrade, votre Compagnon de gloire, soient accordés ; 
j'y crois le bien du service intéressé, les événements de ce 
genre sont si rares, le service que vous avez rendu a été 
si utile, et la distinction et la vigueur de votre conduite 
sont si connus de toute l'armée, que je ne pense pas qu'il 
existe un seul François qui puisse desapprouver que vous 
soyez fait Brigadier. 

Pour moi Monsieur le Comte, je suis trop heureux d'avoir 
pu trouver cette occasion de vous prouver mon opinion et 
ma confiance, je désire que cela puisse vous engager a m'ac- 
corder de l'amitié et a continuer de faire quelque cas des 
sentimens du tendre et fidèle attachement avec lequel j'ai 
l'honneur d'etre &c. 



Compte rendu par M. le Baron de Yiomesuil a M. le C'° 
de RochambeaU; de l'attaque des Redoutes d'York Town, 

a la tranchée du 14 au 15 D'Octobre 1783 [sic^ 
Mon General — 

Le General Washington ayant approuvé hier au soir dans 
le tranchée, les dispositions, que j'avois faits et mes instruc- 
tions données au M'' de la Fayette au General Stubens, 
ainsi qu'a M.M. des Deuxponts, de L'Estrade et de Rostaing 
pour l'attaque des deux redoutes de la gauche des ennemis, 
que vous m'a^déz prescrit d'enlever ; je revins a la colonne 
d'attaque que je m'etois proposé de conduire moi même, et 
après avoir donné au Comte de Custine, les renseignemens 
et les ordres nécessaires sur l'emploi des troupes qui dévoient 
rester dans la tranchée; nous débouchâmes au signal convenu 
avec beaucoup d'ordre et de silence. Les deux redoutes 
furent attaquées et enlevées presqu'en même tems. Le Mar- 
quis de la Fayette s'est conduit a l'attaque dont il etoit 
chargé avec autant d'intrépidité que d'intelligence. Son 
Infanterie s'y est montrée, comme eussent faits des grenadiers 
habitués aux choses difficiles ; tout ce qui defendoit la redoute 
attaquée par les Américains a été tué ou fait prisonnier. 
Un Major et un Officier sont du nombre des derniers. Le 
C**" Guillaïune des Deuxponts qui commandoit 400 Grena- 
diers ou chasseurs que j'avois destiné a l'a.ttaque de la 
grande redoute y a marché, ainsi que M. de L'estrade Lieute- 
nant Colonel de Gatinois que j'avois mis a ses ordres, et a 
son avant garde, avec tant d'ordre et d'Intrepedité, qu'ils 
n'ont pas été six minutes a se rendre maîtres de cette redoute 
et a la couronner. Ils y sont entrés l'un et l'autre avec les 
premiers Grenadiers après s'être faits des passages la hache 
a la main aux abbatis dans le fossé et a la fraise de cet 


ouvrage. Cent quarente hommes qui le defifendoient et qui 
ont fait un feu de mousqueterie très vif, ont été tués ou faittS 
prisonniers. Quelques uns se sont echappéS; dans le nombre 
des quels on croit le Colonel Makferson. Le C*® de Ros- 
taing qui marchoit avec deux compagnies de chasseurs au- 
xiliaires et le second bataillon de son regiment, a l'appui de 
cette attaque, s'est également conduit avec beaucoup de 
valeur et de distinction. 400 hommes du regiment de 
Gatinois se sont montrés dans cette circonstance, comme si 
Auvergne y avoit été tout entier, le detail particulier doit 
vous plaire. Ils y ont malheureusement perdu prés de 
soixante et dix hommes, dont cinquante Grenadiers ou 
chasseurs. M'' de Berthelot a été tué. M'^ de Sireuil, 
Capitaine de chasseurs et Officier d'une grande distinction, 
a eu la jambe fracassée, et M'' de Sillegue Lieutenant de ' 
chasseurs blessé très grièvement. Les Grenadiers et chas- 
seurs des Deuxponts ont eus 22 hommes tués ou blessés, les 
chasseurs D'Agenois six hommes tués; ceux de Bourbonnois 
qui avoient la tête de la colonne commandée par M'' de 
Rostaing n'ont heureusement rien perdu. En tout cette 
attaque decisive a coûté prés de cent hommes ; mais elle 
doit faire le plus grande honneur au Comte Guillaume des 
Deuxponts et a M'' de l'Estrade, au Comte de Rostaing et 
aux Officiers et aux troupes qui y ont été employés. Joye- 
et bon ton avant de déboucher, silence, vigueur et difficultés 
vaincues pendant l'attaque, beaucoup d'ordre et d'humanité 
après le succès, voila Mon General ce que j'ai encore vu de 
la nation et des Grenadiers des Deuxponts ; après 20 ans de 
paix, et ce que je suis bien heureux de nous annoncer. 

Je dois encore vous parler de deux sergents du regiment 
de Gatinois que j'avois particulièrement chargé des marcher 
a dix pas en avant des Grenadiers, pour reconnoitre et indi- 


qiier les passages ou les points les plus favorables pour 
franchir les abbatis, les deux hommes qui ont été conservés 
tous deux ont si bien justifié ce que M'' le B""^ de L'Estrade 
m'avoit dit de leur intelligence et de leur valeur, que je me 
fais un devoir de les citer avec distinction et que je vous 
prie de ne pas desapprouver que j'aye l'honneur de vous les 
presenter demain matin. M. M. de Vauban et de la Meth, 
chargés par vous et M^ de Béville de se trouver a cette 
attaque, et le Comte de Damas que la distinction et le pureté 
de son zélé, y avoient seuls appelles, sont entrés dans la 
redoute avec les premiers Grenadiers et se sont montrés 
partout de vrais Paladins. Ils ont une fleur de courage qui 
sera quelque jour d'un bien bon example pour les guerriers 
qu'ils seront chargés de conduire, et certainement de la plus 
grand utilité pour le service du Roy. Le Chevalier de La 
Meth a été blessé très grièvement aux deux jambes, après 
avoir monté sur le parapet. 

M.M. de Yiomesnil, de S* Amand, de Chabannes do. 
Brentano, Desoteux et de Fange, mes aides de camp, ont 
mérité que je les cite en general et en particulier, pour la 
distinction de leur conduite a cette attaque et leur exactitude 
pour l'exécution des ordres que je leur ai donné pendant 
toute la nuit. 

M"" le Ch'^'' de Menonville aide Major General ayant amené 
lui même deux cent travailleurs du regiment de Soisonnois 
qui dévoient pousser la second paralelle jusqu'à la redoute 
enlevée par le C**" Guillaume des Deuxponts, ce travail a été 
si bien fait sous la direction de M'' le Ch"' Doiré, si prés 
des ennemis, et si promptement que j'ai cru devoir faire 
donner dix sols de plus a chaque travailleurs M.M. de 
Turpin et de Gouvion ont fait travailler avec le même succès 


entre les redoutes prises et a la communication de la 1®''® 
a la seconde paralelle des américains. 

L'artillerie avoit fait des merveilles pendant tout le tems 
qus avoit precede les deux attaques M' D'Aboville et les 
Commandants des batteries se sont encore surpassés pour en 
preparer le succès. 

Je ne scais pas encore la perte des Américains, l'orsque 
M"", de la Fayette et M'^ le Baron de Stubens m'en auront 
remis les états, je m'empresserai de vous les adresser, 
suivant ce qu'ils viennent de me dire, elle n'est pas con- 

Le C*® Guillaume a été blessé au visage mais légèrement, 
sa conduite a été si brillante, et son action si distinguée et 
si decisive, que je vous supplie Mon General de lui obtenir 
le grade de Brigadier de la bonté du Roy. 

Je vous demande de procurer le même grade a M"" le B°.° 
de L'estrade qui sert depuis plus de quarante ans et qui a 
donné un exemple aux Grenadiers et Chasseurs de son regi- 
ment, digne des plus grands éloges. M'' le Comte de Rostaing, 
Colonel depuis 1770, et s'etant aussi très distingué, si vous 
voulé bien demander pour lui le grade de Brigadier, je suis 
persuadé qu'il ne lui sera pas refusé. 

Le General Washington ayant paru satisfait du succès de 
nos attaques, il ne me restera plus rien- a désirer, si vous 
ajoutez votre approbation a tout ce qui s'est fait, pendant la 
durée de mon service a la tranchée. 

J'ai l'honneur d'etre avec l'attachment le plus respectueux 
Mon General 

Votre très humble et très 

obéissant serviteur 


Lettre qui m'a été écrit par le Ministre de la guerre, a 
mou retoui- en France. 

A Versailles le 5 Décembre 1781. 

Sur le Compte Monsieur que j'ai rendu *au Roy de la valeur 
et du courage avec lesquels vous vous êtes conduit a la tête 
des Grenadiers que vous commandiés a l'attaque d'une 
redoute au siege D'York, Sa Majesté pour vous en marquer 
toute sa satisfaction, a bien voulue vous donner une place de 
chevalier dans l'ordre militaire de S* Louis, par distinction 
particulière ; n'ayant pas le tems de service prescrit pour en 
être susceptible. Elle vous accorde de plus, l'assurance d'un 
des premiers Regiments de dragons qui viendront a vaquer. 
Je vous prie d'etre persuadé du plaisir que j'ai a vous annon- 
cer ces graces. 

J'ai l'honneur d'etre très parfaitement Monsieur, Votre 
très humble et très obéissant serviteur 

Signé SEGUR. 




It was in the beginning of the year 1780 that the King 
determined to send troops to the aid of the United States 
of North America. The design was not made public ; on the 
contrary, every possible precaution was taken to conceal 
the destination of the troops, who were about to receive the 
order of embarkation ; and the regiments of Neustrie, Bour- 
bonnois, Soisonnois, Saint Onge, Anhalt, Royal Deuxponts, 
a battalion of artillery, and the legion of Lauzun, intended 
for this expedition, left their winter quarters where they had 
been stationed after the futile campaign of 1779, in perfect 
ignorance of the country whither they were going. 

The Marquis de Lafayette alone .knew this state secret.^ 
It was he who was charged to make known in America our 
coming, and his departure, which preceded ours, could give 
us no clew as to our destination, which we considered to be 
independent of his, because his rank as Major General in 
the service of the United States made his return to America 
a matter of course and even necessary. 

At the end of the month of February, orders were issued 
_ ^ 

' *' It was mainly the personal efforts and personal influence of La- 
fayette, idol of the French people as he had made himself, which 
caused the army of Rochambeau to be sent to America." Everett's 
Orations, i. 477. 


from the war department for the departure of the regiments 
which composed our little army ; and I received in the early- 
part of March the order to report myself on the 15th at 
Landernau,^ where the regiment of Royal Deuxponts was 
in winter quarters. It was only two months since I was 
married, — since I had united my lot and my heart to a 
woman whom I loved tenderly. I will confess frankly that 
the first feeling which this order caused me was not one of 
pleasure, and I will not conceal here the pain, the real pain 
which the separation from my wife produced. The contest 
between affection and duty however was not long, the latter 
carried the day; it expei^ienced only the resistance of a 
tender heart, and it experienced only enough to give the 
glory of a victory always certain for a soul that .appreciates 
the claims of honor. My resolution in short could not be 
doubtful, but as my presence was not very necessary at Lan- 
dernau before the month of April, the time fixed for the 
embarkation of the troops, I asked for leave of absence 
until March 31st. The objections which the Minister [of 
War] made to my request were overcome by the solicita- 
tions of the Countess de-Linanges, which were prompted by 
a friendly interest in me, and she obtained it for me. I took 
affectionate leave of my poor mother March 27th, and left 
my wife March 28th ; the tenderest adieux become heart-rend- 
ing and my heart experienced them. I took my departure. 
Some tears and many reflections upon what I had left behind, 
upon what was to become of me, and upon the glory that I 
might perhaps achieve, — these occupied the time of my jour- 
ney. I reached Landernau on the 31st, where I found 
orders for our embarkation on the 4 th of April, and I there 

^ Landernau is about twelve miles from Brest. 


learned the unfortunate necessity that compelled us to leave 
behind the regiments of Neustrie and Anhalt for the want 
of means of transportation, and we left Landernau on the 
4th of April. 

The regiment of Royal Deuxponts arrived at Brest the 
same day and went on board of the "Eveillé " of 64 guns, the 
" Venus," the " Comtesse de Noailles," the "Loire " and the 
" Ecureuil." Then began the embarkation of the regiments that 
were to serve under the Count de Rochambeau. It was fol- 
lowed on the next day by the legion of Lauzun ; on the 6th, 
by the regiment of Soisonnois ; on the 8th, by the regiment 
of Bourbonnois; oh the 10th, by the regiment of St. Onge; 
and the artillery went on board of their ships on the 11th, 
and were the last of tlie troops to embark. 

The general officers, aides-de-camp, &c. were all em- 
barked on the 14th of April ; on the next day, taking advan- 
tage of a fair wind, the Chevalier de Ternay, commander 
of our squadron, ordered the sailing of the convoy, which 
was to precede by a day the departure of the ships of war. 
The convoy got under way and afterwards came to anchor 
in the roadstead of Berthaume; on the morning of the 16th, 
the Admiral ordered the fleet to weigh anchor, to set sail ; and 
at the moment of getting under way, the wind shifted and 
forced us to remain in the roads of Brest. The wind even 
became so violent that the convoy was obliged to return the 
next day to the same roads. r 

Reckoning from the 17th of April, the wind was con- 
stantly ahead. This forced us to inactivity, and it was not 
before the 2d of May, at five o'clock in the morning, that 
we could set sail. Our fleet at that time was composed of 
the "Due de Bourgogne" of 80 guns ; the "Neptune," 74 guns ; 
the "Conquérant," 74; the "Eveillé"; the "Jason"; the 


"Provence"; and the " Ardent," 64; the frigates " Bellone," 
"Amazone," and "Surveillante"; the cutters "Guêpe" and 
"Serpent"; and thirty-six transports, — making in all forty- 
eight vessels. 

On the 5th of May, at two o'clock in the afternoon, the 
frigate " Bellone " left the squadron to return to France. Our 
passage thus far had been slow and quite destitute of adven- 
ture, and in the three days and a half we had gone only 
fifty leagues. When the " Bellone " left us, the flag-ship made 
the signal to put the crews on an allowance of water, from 
which we inferred that the voyage was to be a long one, and 
it increased still more the doubts as to our destination. I 
believe however that the intention of M. de Ternay in mak- 
ing this signal was to deceive the " Bellone " as to the length 
of our voyage, so that her report would baffle still more the 
curiosity of politicians. 

On the 9th of May, at five o'clock in the morning, we 
made Cape Ortegal,^ situated in the province of Galicia, and 
were in sight of land until nine. The weather suddenly 
became thick, and the wind arose with so much violence 
that we were obliged to lie to in the greatest haste. The 
" Provence " had her fore top-mast and main top-gallant-mast 
carried away ; several other vessels suffered, among them 
was the " Neptune," which lost her mizzen top-mast. Imme- 
diately afterwards they signalized from the " Provence" that 
she could not be repaired at sea.* The wind continued all 
day with the same force. 

On the 10th, the violence of the gale lasted until five 

* Four days afterwards, however, they repaired her in two hours. 

Cape Ortegal is in the north-west part of Spain. 


o'clock in the afternoon, when a fresh breeze from the north- 
west allowed us at that hour to get away from the land and 
to make sail. 

From the 10th to the 15th, the wind was continually ahead ; 
and we were all this time beating to the windward, satisfied 
with holding our own and not losing what we had made. 

On the morning of the 15th, the wind became favorable 
and allowed us on the same day to pass Cape Finistère.^ 
The cutter " Serpent " was sent back to France to carry the 
news of our passing the Cape. The wind kept up steadily 
from the north-east ; and on the 21st we had passed the island 
of Madeira, leaving it nearly fifty leagues to the eastward. 

From the 21st of May to the 3d of June the weather was 
continually fine, and the wind fair though for the most part 
too light to make great progress. Our course thus far gave 
us. no clew as to our destination ; it was equally towards 
North America and towards the West Indies.^ On the 3d, 
while the squadron was lying to and the sea smooth, the 
Count de Damas, my brother, and myself went on board of 
the "Due de Bourgogne" to visit the Count de Rochambeau, 
who told us that we were on our way to North America. 

On the 8th of June, the Count de Rochambeau sent us in 
our respective vessels instructions in regard to landing, the 
nature of our service, and the order of rank to be observed 
towards the troops of the United States of America. 

On the 11th of June, the frigates "Surveillante" and 

* Cape Finistère (Finis Terrce, Land's End) is in the north-west 
part of Spain. 

* " We began to have doubts as to the real destination of the expe- 
dition. The naval officers for the most part thought that we were 
going to St. Domingo, and that an expedition, consisting of land and 
naval forces, intended to attack Jamaica." Souvenirs du lieut.- général 
M. Dumas. Paris, 1839, i. 30. 


" Amazone" took, after a chase of eiglit hours, a small Eng- 
lish vessel coming from Halifax.^ 

On the 1 8th of June, we passed Bermuda, north and 
south,''' leaving it nearly sixty leagues to the north. The 
frigates " Surveillante " and " Amazone " took, on tho same 
day, an English brig^ carrying twelve guns, which was com- 
ing from the siege of Charleston, which place the English had 
taken from the United States of America on the 8th of May, 
after a siege of six weeks.^ This vessel gave us positive 
intelligence in regard to it. She had on board five officers 
of the 46th regiment, who were on their way to Barbadoes 

^ "An English brig bound from Halifax to St. Kitts got among the 
squadron, and was taken by the Surveillante frigate." Souve7iirs 
du lient. -general M. Dumas, i. 31. 

■^ This expression is rather obscure and I translate it literally. It 
probably means that they had passed the meridian running north and 
south through Bermuda; that is, they were directly south of the 
island, leaving it sixty leagues to the north. In the Operations of the 
French Fleet under the Count de Grasse in 1781-2, Bradford Club, New 
York, p. 132, translated from the French by John G. Shea, Esq., a 
similar expression is to be found, though the original text is not given. 
*' A hundred leagues north and south of the Banks of Newfoundland, 
we feU in with an English cartel going to Boston, which we examined 

« "The Surveillante frigate chased and took a brig mounting 
12 guns. The captain of this vessel, a major, and some other officers, 
who were going from the array of General Clinton to that of General 
Vaughan in the Windward Islands, confirmed the news of the taking 
of Charleston by General Clinton, on the 15th of May." Souvenirs du 
lieut.-général M. Dumas, i. 32. 

» This account was premature, as Charleston was not taken by the 
English until the 12th of May, though on the eighth there had been a 
cessation of hostilities to consider capitulation, which probably gave 
rise to the above report. The Sieye of Charleston hy the British 
Fleet and Army. Albany, 1867, pp. 98-103. 


from Charleston. She mistook our squadron for an English 
one, which is expected off New England ; and she never sus- 
pected her mistake until we hoisted the French flag, which 
forced her to haul down hers. 

On the 20th of June, six vessels far to the windward of us 
were signalized ; it was then about half-past twelve o'clock, 
at noon. The ships of the line, " Neptune " and " Eveillé," 
received at once orders by signals to go in chase, keeping 
to the windward, and verbal orders * to carry but little sail. 
We immediately ran up the English flag and went in chase ; 
half an hour afterwards we discovered that they were mak- 
ing for us, and we could see distinctly that they were vessels 
of war, though the distance was still too great for us to make 
out their armament ; we could judge however of their nation- 
ality by the readiness with which they came towards the 
English flag. They were all making for us, but without 
order and some distance apart, when one of them separated 
from the others and made for our convoy, which continued 
its course with the other five vessels, that were now to the 
leeward of us. At three o'clock the officer of the deck came 
to tell us that the vessels which we were chasing were five 
ships of the line and one frigate. The " Neptune " which 
was a little in advance, signalized this to our squadron, and 
our vessel repeated it. We were at dinner ; and this news 
made us leave the table, in order to stow the hammocks and 
prepare for action. Half an hour afterwards our two ships 

* We passed astern of the flag-ship, when this verbal order was 
given to us through a spealving trumpet. Our captain replied twice 
that he could not hear it, because he wanted the order to be signalized ; 
on the third repetition the " Eveillé " was so near the " Due de Bour- 
gogne " that M. de Tilly could not turn the deaf ear on him, and was 
obliged to obey without the signals. 


of the line found themselves within long range of a seventy- 
four gun ship, and of the hostile frigate, which was about 
half a league ahead of the rest of their squadron. The frigate 
ran up the Spanish flag, which was to serve as a signal of 
recognition, and to which we had no reply to make ; the line- 
of-battle ship and the frigate interpreted our silence and lay 
to, while we put about* to rejoin our squadron, which upon 
the signal from the " Neptune " had left the convoy and was 
coming up against the wind, with all sails set, to our sup- 

At five o'clock in the afternoon, our seven ships were in 
line of battle; the English had formed theirs, with the 
exception of the vessel which was separated from their 
squadron, and which was chasing our convoy and had con- 
sequently fallen to the leeward not only of its squadron 
but of ours, so that it was sure to be cut off, if M. de Ter- 
nay had taken advantage of our superior position. The 
French squadron, of which the " Neptune " had the lead, gave 
chase ; but the Chevalier de Ternay was continually making 
the signal to the leading ships to take in sail, and gave time 
to the enemy's vessel to haul her wind and escape.f The 
English squadron was to the windward of us and was 

* We put about without receiving the signal to do so from the 
" Due de Bourgogne." I neither understand, nor approve of, this 
manœuvre .on the part of M. Destouches. If we had fought the 
seventy-four gun ship which was within range, it is true our two 
ships would have had to fight four of the enemy's, but half an hour 
afterwards, these four would have been blown to pieces by our seven, 

t The reputation of M. de Ternay will never be free from the re- 
proach which his conduct in this affair deserves, and which ought to 
have covered him with glory. If he had instructions not to fight, he 
ought not to have begun the battle ; if he was free to fight, he ought 
to have used his advantages, and that was not diflicult. 


running in the same direction. At half-past five we ran up 
the French flag, and the enemy ran up his ; and at a quarter 
to six, our flag-ship signalized to the leading vessel to begin 
the fight. That very moment the English ship, finding her- 
self sufficiently free on the wind, put about against the wind, 
and passed before the French squadron, receiving whole 
broadsides and replying to all which we sent. By this bold 
and skilful manoeuvre she regained her position in line. 
The fight began, and for twenty minutes was hot and heavy. 
The Chevalier de Ternay, in order to draw nearer to the 
enemy, made the signal to our squadron to tack ship in 
succession. Firing began again at a great distance; the 
English held the wind, and gradually drew off from us, 
night coming on a quarter of an hour after the end of our 
engagement. The English squadron was composed of 
two line-of-battle ships of 74 guns, two of 64, one of 50, 
and the frigate might be of 32 guns. Our whole con- 
voy remained together a half league to the leeward, and 
was protected by the " Amazone " and the " Surveillante." 
The fight lasted in all, reckoning from the first shot to the 
last, nearly an hour and a quarter.^'' We lighted our lights 

'" Dumas in his Souvenirs, p. 36, gives a detailed account of this 
action, and says that "our captain, M. de la Clochetterie [of the Ja- 
son] had during the engagement loudly blamed the fault committed 
by M. de Tei'nay in causing his two foremost vessels to slacken sail, 
and which had allowed the " Euby," which was already cut off from 
its line to disengage itself and rejoin the squadron." Dumas further- 
more states, p. 37, that when M. de Ternay learned all the facts, " he 
was extremely mortified, and his premature death was ascribed to that 
cause." On the other hand, the Count de Rochambeau by implication 
justifies the course of the French Admiral in this affair, and says that 
he thought more of the safety of his fleet than of any personal glory 
he might acquire by taking one of the enemy's ships. 3Iémoires 
Militaires de Rochambeau. Paris, 1809, i. 241. 


and kept them during the whole night ; the English did not 
have theirs. K this is any proof of victory on our part, I 
must confess that it is slight. 

On the 21st, the "Surveillante" took a large English 
vessel freighted with wood, coming from Savannah. They 
told us that on the 8th they saw Admiral Arbuthiiot before 
Charleston, that he had with him only frigates, because ships 
of the line could not pass Charleston bar. This makes us 
all believe that the fleet which we engaged yesterday was 
Arbuthnot's, coming from Halifax and going to join him. We 
have so much more the reason to believe that this hostile 
fleet was commanded simply by a captain, as we did not see 
on any of their vessels a pennant of distinction.* We judge 
that these five vessels were the " Robust " and the " Russel," 
of 74 guns, the " Europa " and the " Raissonable," 64, and 
the " Renown," 50. 

From the 21st of June to the 4th of July, our course 
was often impeded by calms or head winds. A mistake 
had been made by the whole fleet, in reckoning longitude ; 
we were behind our computations, which made us sound often, 
without finding bottom. 

On the 4th of July, at half-past ten in the morning, a sail 
was signalized. The Chevalier de Ternay ordered the 

■* We learned three months afterwards that this squadron was com- 
manded by Captain Cornwallis, coming from Jamaica," where he 
h^d left a convoy, and that the five vessels were the "Hector" and 
the "Sultan," of 74 guns, the "Lion" and the "Ruby," 64, the 
" Bristol," 30, and the frigate was the " Niger," 32. 

" The Count deEochambeau says that this squadron was returning 
to Jamaica, after having escorted fifty merchantmen as far as Ber- 
muda. Mémoires, i. 241. 


frif^ates " Amazone " and " Surveillante " to go in chase ; the 
"Due de Bourgogne" made the signal that she should act in- 
dependently of the others, and supported the two frigates in 
their chase. She proved to be a small vessel, armed, and a 
fast sailer. She only hauled down her colors after several 
shots were fired at her. She was nevertheless taken and 
manned by two o'clock. Knowing that we were near the 
American coast, we considered her to be an English spy, 
sent out to watch us. At half-past two, the " Amazone " 
signalized that she had found bottom at sixty fathoms ; an 
hour after, the " Conquérant" found bottom at fifteen fath- 
oms, and at four o'clock, the " Eveillé," at thirteen fathoms. 
We could no longer doubt our nearness to land ; and the 
vessel just taken reports us about ten leagues to the east of 
Cape Henry, one of the capes of Chesapeake Bay. The 
squadron lay to, and the signal to fill the sails was imme- 
diately followed by prepare to anchor. At quarter after 
six the order was to anchor, which was countermanded 
immediately afterwards. At half-past six the "Surveil- 
lante " signalized two sails ; the Admiral immediately made 
the signal to clear for action ; we were a little astonished at 
the suddenness of this order, but a moment afterwards, the 
"Due de Bourgogne" signalized nine sails, while another vessel 
signalized eleven. This seemed to us a little more serious. 
My comrades and myself began to calculate the chances. 
We knew that Admiral Graves was to leave England with a 
large squadron at the same time with us, or soon after ; that 
this squadron without convoy, sailing faster than we did, 
ought to have arrived at its destination ; that it could have 
joined Arbuthnot ; and it was very probable that these two 
squadrons having joined were cruising, awaiting our arrival. 
The little vessel we took seemed to us more than ever a spy. 


M. de Ternay, by means of fifty lashes, or a severe cudgel- 
ling, bad extorted the truth from the captain ; and the signal 
to tack ship, all sails set, the intelligence that the Admiral 
was going to give false courses for the night,''^ five of which 
appeared the moment after, and one of our small vessels, sent 
to reconnoitre, — these made us all think that the vessels^^ 
we discovered were those of Arbuthnot and Graves, of much 
superior force and much to be feared. As the sun went 
down, I saw only five of the vessels signalized. Darkness 
came on. We began our false courses at ten o'clock, which 

* All these signals indicated rather a shameM flight than a skilful 
manœuvre. Never has one seen fear better depicted at sea. I saw 
with mortification this sketch of fear of M. de Ternay ; he had not 
even sufficient presence of mind to send out vessels to reconnoitre. 
The " Surveillante " and the " Eveillé " are good sailers enough to 
have been able to accomplish this in safety. They could have seen 
and reported, and our Admiral might have known that it was in his 
power to capture two ships of the line, of 44 guns, four frigates and 
a convoy which composed the sails which he had seen, and which had 
given him so much fear. It was not till four months afterwards that 
he knew it. It would have been happy for us if we had not lost an 
opportunity like this, but when one is in fear, he does not see so well. 

'^ According to Kochambeau, this proved to be a convoy coming 
from Charleston to New York, under the escort of some frigates. 
Admiral de Ternay, intent on taking his fleet in safety to its destina- 
tion, endeavored to shun ev^ery encounter with the enemy, which 
would tend only to his own reputation. Mémoires, 252. " It 
was then we learned that the eleven sails before which we had changed 
our course at the entrance of the Chesapeake, were for the most part 
only frigates and large vessels, which were carrying to New York the 
English troops from Charleston. Thus fortune had twice offered us 
easy and most important success. I have said above that the French 
Admiral, M. de Ternay, regretted the prudence of his conduct, not- 
withstanding the good motives which had dictated it." Souvenirs du 
lient. -général Dumas, i. 42. 


were very well made. At half-past twelve at night, five 
cannon balls were fired between the masts of the "Due de 
Bourgogne." These made us believe that the enemy had 
come up with us, and that we could not escape him by 
morning ; and we passed the night in the preparation and 
expectation of an attack, of which the issue did not seem to 
be favorable. I nevertheless turned in. It is the part of 
wisdom to sleep rather than to dream of a naval fight where 
there is nothing to gain. I awoke at half-past three, and 
my first care was to ask if the enemy was upon us. The 
reply was that only two foreign vessels could be seen. I 
looked and saw two frigates^^ of the enemy in the middle of 
our convoy, which was setting all sails to get away ; so much 
the better, thought I. Our frigates and the ship of the line 
which were near M. de Ternay, with eagerness asked him 
for permission to give chase ; but he did not think it prudent 
to grant it, before it was suflBciently light to see whether 
there was a superior force. At five o'clock in the morning, 
he was satisfied, and made the signal to our frigates to give 
chase, and joined in it himself. It was kept up until one 
o'clock in the afternoon, without our being able to come up 
with the hostile frigates, which outsailed us ; and in order 
to make their escape more sure, however, they had sacri- 
ficed some of their guns, which they had thrown overboard. 
The squadron and convoy held on the same course as the 
chasing vessels ; we were all together again at three o'clock 
and lay to. The Admiral ordered all the ships of the line 
and frigates to send for orders, and declared that he was 

1^ "At daybreak we saw two English frigates ; they were ahead, and 
we could not suppose that they belonged to the squadron which we 
had avoided." Souvenirs du lieut.-général M. Dumas, i. 38. 


taking the squadron to Boston or Rhode Island. The En- 
sign ^'* who had been sent for orders told everybody on 
his return, as a secret, that the Admiral had seen the day 
before eleven sails, and from information he had, he was sure 
that they formed an English squadron of seven ships of the 
line, the " London " of 98 guns, and six ships, of 74. 

The great number of our sick and the hardships we had 
experienced from lying twenty-seven days in the roads of 
Brest, and from being sixty-six days at sea, made us wish to 
avoid the meeting of the forces with which we were threat- 
ened. The enemy, who left at the same time we did, could 
already have been rested from his voyage, which must have 
been shorter than ours, as he had no convoy. 

In the night of the 5th-6th of July, we lost the little 
vessel, taken on the 4th. She had had her bowsprit carried 
away, which made her lag behind ; and she was not of suf- 
ficient importance to keep back the whole squadron and 

On the 7th of July, the Chevalier de Ternay ordered on 
board of his ship all the captains of our ships of the line 
and frigates of the squadron, and told them, after a short 
council of war held with them, that he was taking us to 
Ehode Island. The reports which were circulated on the 
5th, about the English squadron, which was supposed to 
have been discovered on the evening of the 4th, were denied. 
I approve strongly of this denial, which is bound to have a 
good effect among the crew ; but still I am nevertheless per- 
suaded that the first accounts were true, and we all expect 
to fio-ht before we reach land. 

'* "In the French navy the ensign ranks next to the lieutenant. 
Operations of the French Fleet, p. 62. 


From the 7tli to the 9 th of July, the weather was very 
foggy; nevertheless, with care and signals, the squadron 
and convoy had been kept together, with the exception of 
the transport, the " Isle de France," which had been sepa- 
rated from us and which is missing at this time. On the 
9th, at six o'clock in the morning, we found bottom at forty 
fathoms ; the uncertainty of our distance from land and the 
impossibility of seeing it, induced the Chevalier de Ternay 
to come to anchor at noon. At two o'clock the weather 
cleared up, and at three we set sail ; a short time after we 
made land, but could not identify it. We approached it 
until seven o'clock in the evening, when we saw a small 
American boat, the captain of which the Admiral ordered 
aboard his ship, and we learned that the land we had seen 
was No Man's Island, one of the islands of Nantucket Banks. 
We came to anchor at nine o'clock in the evening, and sailed 
again the next day at four in the morning. 

On the 10th, in the evening, we made laud again, and 
were sure that it was Rhode Island ; we passed the night at 
anchor, and sailed at daybreak on the next day. The fog 
was very thick, and we ran in towards land, where we should 
have been lost if the " Ecureuil " had not fired some guns 
to warn us of our danger. The fog lifted, and we were off 
Point Judith, where we were becalmed and forced to anchor. 
The Admiral sent us an American pilot^^ (Colonel Elliot), 

** "Directions were also given to several pilots to be in readiness 
to go on board the French fleet as soon as it should arrive on the 
coast." — Sparks's Washington, vii. 105. "Pilots from the island 
of Martha's Vineyard conducted the squadron to the anchorage of 
Rhode Island." Souvenirs du lieut.-général M. Dumas, i. 39. 
Probably Colonel Elliot was one of those taken by the Admiral from 
Martha's Vineyard, and sent by him on board of the " Eveillé." 


when we set sail again in the afternoon, and entered the 
channel of Newport in the evening of the 11th of July. 

The Count de Rochambeau went ashore the same day 
and was engaged in selecting a camping ground, and in all 
the details relative to his little army, which prevented him 
from beginning the disembarkation of his troops till the 
13th of July. The grenadiers and chasseurs were the first 
to land, and the same evening occupied the camp which is 
intended for us. They were followed on the 14th and 15th 
by the well troops, and the 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th were 
given up to landing the sick. Some of these were carried 
to hospitals in readiness for them at Newport, while others 
were taken to a hospital established at Pappasquash,^^ 
twelve miles from Newport. 

The camp of the French army has its right wing resting 
near Newport, a little in front of the town, and the left 
touches the sea. The legion of Lauzun is encamped in 
front of the army, on a peninsula called the Neck. 

We have at last reached tlie end of our voyage, and of 
our fatigue and tedium which are inséparable from it. That 
moment is sweet, when one sees land after having been sev- 
enty-one days at sea. One never appreciates the price of 
happiness better than after having bought it by privations 
and discomforts ; but we have too much to do with suffering 
humanity to enjoy it. Scurvy has made frightful ravages 

'® Pappasquash is the neck of land in front, or to the west, of the 
harbor of Bristol, about fifteen miles from Newport, and seven or 
eight miles north of Portsmouth Grove. I am indebted to Dr. David 
King, of Newport, for many facts in regard to the places in this 
vicinity. An interesting article on the derivation of the name Pa2> 
pasquash, by the Hon. J. Hammond Trumbull, of Hartford, is found in 
Church's History of King Philip'' s War. Boston, 1865, p. 156. 


with the troops, some of whom have died on the passage. 
The great number of the sick/''' as well as the feeble condi- 
tion of others, make us fear that we shall lose many more. 

We did not meet with that reception on landing, which 
we expected and which we ought to have had.^^ A coldness 
and a reserve appear to me- to be characteristic of the 
American nation. They appear to have little of that en- 
thusiasm which one supposes would belong to a people 
fighting for its liberties, and to be little suited to inspire it in 
others. But these considerations shall not at all change my 
resolution, and they occupy my thoughts less than my reflec- 
tions upon our military and political position. We are not 
numerous ; and I foresee with anxiety that we cannot make 
a campaign of great importance, -if our second division does 
not arrive soon, and put us in a condition to go to work.^^ 

'■'■ " A large third of the army and navy was attacked with scurvy, 
and was sent to hospitals, established in the interior of the country." 
Kochambeau's Mémoires, i. 244. 

^** This statement does not accord with that made by others. Gen- 
eral Heath writes to General Washington from Newport, July 12th, 
1780, that "the inhabitants appear disposed to treat our allies with 
much respect. The town is to be illuminated this evening, by a vote 
of the inhabitants. For myself, I am charmed with the officers." 
Sparlis's Correspondence of the Benolution. Boston, 1853, ill. 12. 

Furthermore, General Dumas says that " we were welcomed with 
the acclamations of a small number of patriots that remained in this 
island [of Rhode Island] lately occupied by the English, who had 
been forced to abandon it. Scarcely had the arrival of the French 
squadron been signalized, when the authorities and principal inhabi- 
tants of the neighboring towns hastened to welcome us." Souvenirs, 
i. 40. 

^^ "The frigate Alliance arrived in Boston from L'Orient, on the 
16th of August, and brought the intelligence that the French squad- 
ron, and troops which were to constitute the second division of Count 
de Kochambeau's army, were blockaded in the harbor of Brest by 


On the morning of the 21st of July, a brig, intended to 
take back to France the news of our arrival in North 
America, sailed from Rhode Island, under escort of the 
frigates " Surveillante," " Amazone," and " Hcrmione," which 
were going to convoy it a certain distance. The sight of 
some sails made this flotilla return. The sails we discov- 
ered approached ; and at six o'clock in the evening we counted 
twenty of them from land, of which at least nine had two 
decks. Their silence to all of our signals made from land, 
left no doubt that they were English. The uncertainty of 
their designs, and the fear that they were going to force a 
passage through the channel of Rhode Island, made us bring 
the broadsides of seven ships of the line to bear upon them ; 
and the Count de Rochambeau the" same evening threw up 
some batteries, which commanded the channel on the side of 
Rhode Island,* while the navy erected some on the side of 

* The works thrown up on the side of Rhode Island were mounted 
only with twelve pounders. Our large guns and mortars had not yet 
been landed, and one can easily see that such batteries could not have 
been of much service against ships of the line. At this time, one half 
of our army was sick. No landing place had been sought out, and no 
j-oad open. Our position would not have been easy if we had had to 
do with a bold and skilful enemy. 

an English fleet of thirty-two sail." Sparks's Washington, vii. 176. 
" The second division of the French troops destined for America, 
which had been blockaded in the harbor of Brest, was expected daily 
on the coast. Count de Eochambeau had visited New London, Nor- 
wich, Lebanon, and Windham, and other towns, and ascertained that 
the troops might be well provided for in those places. As this divi- 
sion never arrived, there was no occasion for farther preparation." 
Sparks's Washington, vii. 319. 


Connonicut.^'^ M. de la Valette, lieutenant-colonel of the 
regiment of Saint Onge, had been detached with one hun- 
dred and fifty men to Connonicut ; and the Count de Cus- 
tine ^^ and mj'^self, second in command, had been detached 
with the battalions of grenadiers and chasseurs of our two 
brigades ; and we have taken our position on the sea-shore to 
prevent any attempt at landing from the one side or the 
other. Admiral Arbuthnot remained continually in sight of 
land until the 26th of July. That night, he anchored off 
Point Judith, and passed the day under sail, cruising some- 
times at one league, at other times three or four leagues, from 
the coast. In the evening of the 26th, the General ordered us 
to return to the camp of the army, and the legion of Lauzun 
took our position. The Count de Rochambeau, having been 
informed on the 24th, that General Clinton was embarking 
ten thousand men who were coming to attack us, and that 
he was about ready to sail, detached the second battalion of 
the regiment of Soisonnois, commanded by the Viscount de 
Noailles, and placed it on Connonicut, where he was rein- 
forced by the American militia ; but the difficulty of holding 
the island of Connonicut, which is accessible on all sides, 
induced the Count de Rochambeau to abandon it to the 
enemy, and on the 27th of July he ordered back the 

The reports of the intention of General Clinton to attack 

^° Connonicut is an island west of Rhode Island. There is an old 
fort on it, at a place called the Dumplings, opposite Fort Adams. 

^1 "Adam Philip, Count de Custine, born at Metz, in 1740. He served 
under Frederick the Great in the Seven Years' War. In 1792, he was 
summoned from the command of the army of the Rhine, to Paris, 
and beheaded in August, 1793." Operations of the French Fleet, 
p. 75. 



US were confirmed by those which General Washington sent 
to the Count de Eochambeau, who, in consequence, called 
together the Rhode Island militia, and repaired all the works 
thrown up by the English, when they held the island. He 
has increased the defence by adding new works to those 
already built, and has opened roads to all the landing 

On the 12 th of August, we learned that the movements 
with which General Washington threatened New York have 
caused Clinton to give up his operations against us. General 
Washington went to Pompton, sixteen miles from Staten 
Island. General Clinton had embarked his troops in Hun- 
tington Bay ; he had even set sail and gone as far as New 
London, and it was not until then that he changed his plans. 

On the 19th of August, twenty vessels could be seen 
between Block Island and Point Judith, which are supposed 
to be an expedition of two thousand English troops to the 
main-land to forage for New York. 

On the 27th of August, wc learned that there were twenty- 
six English vessels off Martha's Vineyard, and without doubt 
they are the same that we saw on the 19 th. 

From the 27th of August to the 18th of September, no 
events nor news of any interest relieved our inactivity. On 
the 18th we had news of the arrival of Admiral Rodney 
with ten ships off Sandy Hook. We were told of his plans 
against us, conjointly with General Clinton, who they say 
has embarked nine thousand five hundred men to make a 
descent', while Admiral Rodney with twenty-one ships of the 
line will force the channel and engage our seven ships. 

The Count de Rochambeau is absent. An interview with 
General Washington made him leave Newport on the 17th 


for Hartford, the place where the two Generals are to meet ; 
and the Baron de Viomesnil is in command of the army. 

He knows the danger we are running and all the conse- 
quences, but he knows as well the means of resistance we 
have, and the resources which we can draw from our posi- 
tion and courage. He has moreover the talent for per- 
suading men and drawing them to his opinion, and I confess 
with pleasure that I give him all the rights to mine. On 
the 19th of this month, he had decided upon the line of bat- 
tle on which our squadron should fight. He rests his right 
on Rose Island, ^^ where he has thrown up a battery of 
forty pieces of artillery, thii'ty-six twenty-four and twelve 
pounders ; and the left of our seven ships, with broadsides 
on, is protected by the battery built at Brenton's Point,^^ 
and composed of eight twenty-four pounders and four 
twelve-inch mortars. Four other eight-inch mortars and 
four twenty-four pounders are intended to open on the 
enemy when he is fairly in the channel. 

Such is the position in which our vessels await the attack 
of the enemy. It is possible that they will be defeated; 
numbers can overpower them ; but it is on the most perilous 
occasions that great courage shows itself. Glory is in pro- 
portion to the danger which is run ; and when there is nothing 
to be gained over an enemy, when there is nevertheless 
the resource of a noble defence, there should be no hesi- 
tation to decide to make it, — to sacrifice one's self even, if it 
is necessary. One can gain glory by defeat ; the tears that 

^■^ Rose Island is in the outer bay, between Newport and Connoni- 

^2 Brenton's Point is the south-west point of Rhode Island, in New- 


the enemy will shed over his victory will be homage rendered 
to us, and which posterity will count perhaps for laurels. 

From the 1 8th to the 30th of September, we have con- 
tinually been employed in perfecting our defences ; thus far 
we have been living in the hope of seeing the arrival of the 
fleet of the Count de Guichen, which, as we all think, ought 
to be pursuing Admiral Rodney. We have been disabused 
of this idea by the arrival of the frigate " Gentille," coming 
from Cape François. She has informed us of the departure 
of M. de Guichen from the West Indies, escorting a large 
convoy which they think he will take to France. The " Gen- 
tille " arrived on the 30th* and had on board M. de Choisy 
and nine French officers, among whom was Captain de 
Thuillières, of the regiment of Royal Deuxponts. 

Rodney having undertaken nothing during the first fort- 
night since his arrival, it was almost certain that he would 
undertake nothing more. He has lost every advantage by 
delays; and about the 4th or 5th of October, we were con- 
vinced that we should not be attacked, and that the object of 
Admiral Rodney was rather to repair his ships, which had been 
considerably damaged by the fights that he had had to main- 
tain against M. de- Guichen, than to attack us. We then de- 
spaired of giving up our inactivity, and began to be busy about 

* On the same day we learned the news of the infamous treason of 
General Arnold, and we learn at the same time that Major André, con- 
fidential aide-de-camp to General Clinton, was arrested in disguise by 
some soldiers ^-i of the American militia, and that he had been en- 
trusted by Clinton to treat with Arnold. 

'■^* The captors of André were John Paulding, David Williams, and 
Isaac Van Wart, each of whom afterwards received a handsome pen- 
sion and a silver medal from Congress. It will be remembered that 
large sums of money were oflfered to them by André for his release, 
but they remained true to their country. 


our winter quarters. Men worked in numbers on repairing 
and fitting up houses intended to be used as barracks ; and 
the Count de Rochambeau has fixed upon the end of the 
month for breaking up the camp and going into Newport. 

On the 28th of October, the frigates " Amazone," " Surveil- 
lante" and " Hermione " sailed; the first goes to France, 
and takes on board Viscount Rochambeau ; ^^ and the other 
two are going to cruise I know not where. 

■On the 31st of October, the brigade of Bourbonnois left 
its camp and took up its winter quarters in the town of New- 
port; it was followed on the 1st of November by the brigade 
of Soisonnois. 

On the 10th of November, two squadrons of hussars of 
the legion of Lauzun left Newport to take up their quarters 
at Lebanon in the State of Connecticut.^^ 

^* This was a son of the Count cle Rochambeau, at this time a Colonel 
in the French army, who was sent to France with despatches con- 
taining the result of the conference at Hartford (alluded to p. 95), 
and particularly a memoir setting forth the wants of the Amer- 
icans in men, ships, and money. In case the vessel should be in dan- 
ger of capture, Colonel Rochambeau was instructed to sink his papers, 
and make a verbal communication of their contents to the ministers. 
M. de Le Peyrouse commanded the " Amazone," and in order to escape 
the British fleet then blockading the harbor of Newport, he put to sea 
in a violent gale of wind. He was chased by English cruiserS; and 
his vessel dismasted,. but luckily not until he was out of the reach of 
the enemy. The other two frigates, that passed with the " Amazone " 
through the British squadron, were bound to Boston. Rochambeau's 
Mémoires, p. 256. Colonel Rochambeau returned from France in 
the frigate " Concorde," which arrived at Boston on the 6th of May, 
of the succeeding year. See p. 108. 

^« The Duke de Lauzun's legion was cantoned at Lebanon, not far 
from the residence of Governor Trumbull, where a supply of forage 
could be easily obtained. Sparks's Washington, vii. 319. Barber, in 
his Connecticut Historical Collections, says that the encampment was 
a little west of the church. The Count de Rochambeau speaks of this 


On the 15th of December, the Chevalier de Ternay,^''' com- 
mander of the squadron, died, and his loss occasioned no 
regrets. M. Destouches, the senior captain of the squadron, 
took command, and has the coniidence of all in his favor. 

The squadron has orders to hold itself in readiness to 
sail. Four ships of the line apparently are going to sail at 
once, to go before the frigates " Surveillante " and '' Her- 
mione," now at Boston, whither they went after their 
cruise, and which are going to return soon to Rhode Island. 

town as la Banora, where the State of Connecticut had put up some 
barracks for its militia. Mémoires, i. 259. 

2'' He was buried in Trinity church-yard at Newport, with distin- 
.guished honors. 


On the 20tli of January, the ships of the line "Eveillé" 
and " Ardent," and the frigate " Gentille " sailed to insure 
the safe return of the frigates " Surveillante " and " Her- 
mione " ; they experienced very bad weather and came back 
the next day, on the 21st. 

On the night of the 22d-23d, there was quite a gale, 
and an English man-of-war was driven ashore at Montauk 
Point. Another ship was dismasted. On the 26th, our two 
frigates came in with the transport " Isle de France." 
These vessels have suffered somewhat from the bad 

The English man-of-war lost in the last gale was the 
" Culloden," of 74 guns, and the ship of the line dismasted 
was the " Bedford," of the same force. The enemy stationed 
at Gardner's Bay, and knowing that we expected two fri- 
gates, sent out three ships of the line to intercept their re- 
turn, and it was this cruise which was so disastrous. 

On the 8th of February, at seven o'clock in the evening, 
the ship of the line " Eveillé," the frigates " Surveillante " 
and " Gentille," and the cutter " Guêpe " set sail. No one 
knows their destination, but every one thinks that they are 
going to the James River in Chesapeake Bay, to destroy 
the transports of Arnold, who has landed fifteen hundred 
men, and to fight a ship of the line of 50 guns and two 
frigates which form his escort, and which are in position 
to support him. 

On the 25th of February, at three o'clock in the after- 
noon, four sails were signalized, and at six o'clock in the 


evening, the " Eveillé," the " Surveillante," and the " Gen- 
tille " came in, bringing with them the "Romulus," an Eng- 
lish ship of 44 guns, and pierced for 54, which the " Eveillé " 
took off Cape Henry .^s The object that the " Eveillé " had 
was the destruction of Arnold's ships, but she drew too much 
water, and could not get up the James River far enough to 
enter the Elizabeth River, which runs into the James, and 
where the whole English jfleet is anchored. The " Eveillé " 
was obliged to give up the attack on the " Charon" ^^, of 50 
guns, and on the two frigates that are there, and which 
had to lighten themselves to get in. 

The " Surveillante," which was a little too far in advance, 
was agi'ound for twenty-four hours, and was obliged to be 
lightened of her cannon in order to get afloat. The expe- 
dition of the " Eveillé " to Chesapeake Bay was limited to 
taking three privateers and six brigs or snows. The small 
vessels were burnt and the privateers taken to Yorktown. 
From the impossibility of beginning other enterprises, M. 
de Tilly ^^ determined to return, and, while heading for 

2s i< jjj 178]^^ tijg Chevalier Destouches sent a part of his fleet from 
Boston to the Chesapeake, under M. de Tilly, who captured the Ro- 
mulus, 44 guns, and several transports, but most of the enemy's 
vessels ran up to Portsmouth." Operations of the French Fleet, 
p. 17. 

29 This vessel was afterwards burned at the siege of Yorktown." 
" In the evening the Charon frigate of forty-four guns was set on fire 
by a hot shot fired from the Trench battery on the left, and entirely 
consumed." Sparks's Washington, viii. 177. 

^° " Chevalier Le Gardeur de Tilly was apparently a Canadian of the 
Tilly branch of the family of Le Gardeur. The M. de St. Pierre, whom 
Washington met on the Ohio in 1753, was of the other branch, the Le 
Gardeur de Repentigny. Le Gardeur de Tilly had, in 1781, pursued 
Arnold in the Chesapeake, taken the Romulus, 44, and several trans- 
ports. In 1789, he was commandant of the eighth squadron, at Roche- 
fort, and commodore." Operations of the French Fleet, p. 112. 


Rhode Island, discovered a vessel and gave chase. The vessel, 
taking the pursuing ships for some of her own nation, did not 
attempt to escape until the moment when she made reconnoi- 
tring signals, to which no reply was made. The " Eveillé " 
soon came up with her and presented to her a broadside 
within pistol shot. The " Gentille " came up on the quarter, 
and in that position it was shouted to her to haul down her 
flag : she hauled down her flag ; and it was shouted to her to 
haul down her pennant ; and she hauled down her pennant. 
In short, the " Romulus " surrendered to the " Eveillé," 
without firing a single shot. If one cannot commend her 
courage, he can at least consider her docility extreme. M. 
de Tilly manned his prize, and without losing time sailed 
for Rhode Island. Great rejoicings at Newport, — but we 
are very anxious about the cutter " Guêpe," which left at 
the same time with M. de Tilly, but got separated the day 
after his departure, and of which we have no news. The 
Chevalier de Maulevrier, who commands this cutter and who 
joins to many amiable qualities all those of his profession, 
is the special object of our anxieties. 

On the 27th of February, we received the news of the 
arrival of the frigate " Astrée " at Boston. She sailed from 
Brest and made a passage of sixty-three days. 

On the 6th of March, General Washington arrived at 
Newport, and was received with all the honors due to a 
Marshal of France. ^^ 

On the 8th of March, the whole of our squadron, com- 
posed of the " Due de Bourgogne," the " Neptune," the " Con- 

^* While this statement proves nothing in regard to the fact, it is 
interesting in connection with the question often raised, whether 
Washington was a Marshal of France. See Histonml Magazine, iii. 
83, 12G, 159, 280; also new series, iii. 171. 


querant," the " Eveillé/' the " Jason," the " Provence," the 
" Ardent," the " Romulus," the frigates " Surveillante " and 
" Hermione," and of the " Fantasque " ^^ armed in flute, 
set sail at six o'clock in the evening. There were on board 
four companies of grenadiers and chasseurs, a detachment 
of a hundred and sixty-four men from each of our regiments, 
and a hundred artillerymen, — making in all 1,156 men. 
There were put on board some pieces of artillery — sixteen- 
pounders and twelve-pounders, some howitzers, some field 
pieces — and everything necessary to attack intrenchments. 
We think it is the intention to attack Arnold, conjointly 
with 1,500 men of the American army, commanded by the 
Marquis de Lafayette, and with all the militia of Virginia. 
The Baron Viomesnil commands the expedition, and the 
Marquis de Laval, the Viscount de Noailles, and MM. d'An- 
selme and de Gambs, are the higher officers under his 

On the 10th of March, at eleven o'clock in the forenoon, 
the English squadron set sail from Gardner's Bay, and we 
can have no doubt that it is to pursue ours. The circum- 
stances of their departure prove their activity. Arbutlmot 
knowing our preparations, sent a ship of the line and a 
frigate to reconnoitre j these appeared on the 9th off the 
entrance to the harbor of Rhode Island, approached quite 
near, lay to, and remained there long enough to find out 
certainly whether or not there were in our roads any vessels 
of war. Convinced of what they wanted to know, these 
two vessels tacked ship, set all sails, and steered for Gard- 

^2 "La Fantasque serving as an hospital ship." — Bhode Island 
Colonial Becords, ix. 159. An armed ship, with her guns in part taken 
out, is said to be armed in flute. 


ner's Bay. They arrived within sight of their squadron the 
next day morning, and as far ofl" as they could be seen 
they made the signals agreed upon, at which the enemy im- 
mediately set sail. Their squadron is composed * of eleven 
sails, — eight ships of the line and three frigates. 

General Washington left Newport on the 13th of March, 
and they gave him the same honors on leaving that he had 
on his arrival. 

We feel sure tliat the English squadron, sailing forty hours 
after ours, cannot overtake it and prevent its entrance into 
Chesapeake Bay, and this supposition necessarily carries 
with it the hope that the expedition planned against Arnold 
will be successful. We expect that the enemy will want to 
avenge himself on us and will try to enter, and to burn our 
transports. Even if this succeeded, the damage to us will 
be but little consolation for the losses which we have in- 
flicted on him in Virginia. We are increasing the entrench- 
ments of all our batteries, and particularly those of Goat 
Island,^^ in order to make a determined resistance. 

On the 26th of March, they came while we were at dinner 
to tell us that several vessels of war were signalized, that 
the Count de Rochambeau, to whom this had been reported, 
was getting on his horse to go to the signal station, that the 
artillery had been ordered to the batteries, that the gren- 
adiers and detachments detailed for the defence of Goat 

* Our fleet set sail in tlie firm conviction that the English ship 
" Bedford," dismasted in the gale of the 22d-23d of January, was 
not in condition to sail; it is certain however that she is now one of 
their squadron. 

^^ Goat Island is in front of the town of Newport, and divides the 
inner from the outer harbor. 


Island were holding themselves in readiness to be taken 
there, and that everything in general was preparing to go to 
the posts assigned in advance by the General. We imme- 
diately jumped up from our dinner, and followed the Gen- 
eral ; we did see in fact the sails making straight for Rhode 
Island, but it was impossible to make out whether they were 
friends or foes. We remained nearly an hour in uncertainty 
when we recognized our own squadron, which entered New- 
port harbor the same evening, and informed us that, kept 
back by bad weather, head winds, and perhaps by an im- 
perfect knowledge of the prevailing winds along the coast, 
they could not reach Cape Charles before the 14th of March 
(having left Newport on the 8th), that a north-west wind 
compelled them to cruise for two days, and that on the 16th, 
in the morning, the wind shifted. I give here the details of 
the fight of the same day between the two squadrons. 

On Friday, the 16th of March, about twelve leagues to the 
east of Chesapeake Bay, the King's fleet under the orders 
of M. Destouches was sailing in close order, the Cape bearing 
north, on port tack, the wind inclined to the south-east, the 
sea heavy and the weather very foggy. At half-past six in 
the morning, the frigate " Hermione " signalized a sail to the 
windward, which she received orders to go and reconnoitre 
with the " Eveillé." Some time afterwards the flute " Fan- 
tasque," having discovered ten other sails far to the south- 
ward, signalized the information. The flag-ship at once gave 
orders to stow hammocks and to take the line of battle on 
port tack. During the execution of this order the wind 
gradually shifted to the north, then to the north-north-east, 
and then steadied to the north-east. This put the French 
squadron to the windward of the English, at a distance of three 
leagues. It had been forced to follow the wind as it kept 

"my campaigns in AMERICA. 105 

shiftinpT, and when the fog had lifted a little it reappeared 
on the starboard quarter, bearing, as well as our ships, east 
to south-east. 

At nine o'clock they made signals to the " Fantasque " to 
hug the wind and to carry sail, and to the whole squadron 
to tack ship in succession. The wind began to blow strong 
and the general sails carried were foresails and topsails. 
The " Ardent " and " Eveillé " carried away their main- 
yards, and our ships had scarcely ended the commanded 
manœuvre when the enemy's squadron took the same tack, 
keeping as close to the wind as possible, with a good deal 
of sail. The inequality of the speed in the enemy's ships 
separated them into two divisions, while the French squad- 
ron always in starboard line was close reefing. The Eng- 
lish frigates and some of their leaâing ships were carrying 
their fore and main top-gallant sails. Towards eleven 
o'clock they gained sensibly upon the rear ship of the French 
fleet. M. Destouches then tacked ship, running in battle array 
on the other tack. The French line was very regularly 
formed, and the first ships of the enemy at once took in sail 
and bore up two points. Their Admiral soon rallied them, 
continuing always on the same tack, in hugging the wind ; 
and the two lines stretched themselves out to the range of 
the great g-uns. At half-past twelve, the enemy who were 
carrying much more sail than the French ships, found them- 
selves able to tack ship in the waters of the French squadron, 
which did not increase its sail ; and at one o'clock the lead- 
ing ship of the English line was within short range of the 
rear French ship. The sea was heavy, it blew quite fresh, 
and some of the leeward batteries were almost under water. 
M. Destouches decided to wear ship in succession in order to 
attack to the leeward. This movement was promptly exe- 


cuted ; the leading ships had orders to come up four points. 
The English saw that their superiority was useless, if they 
fought with the wind abeam. Their leading ship bore up 
consequently for the " Conquérant " on the same tack. It 
was half-past one o'clock, and the respective ships of the line 
began then to fire very near. The cannonading became hot 
in proportion as they came into the waters of their leaders. 
The " Conquérant," the leading vessel which had fought for 
half an hour when the last French ship began to fight against 
the fifth in the English line, had already suffered much in 
her sails and rigging. She fell to the leeward and was at- 
tacked by several large ships, against which she kept up a 
continuous fire. The ''Due de Bourgogne" and the "Nep- 
tune " came up to defend her. This movement necessarily 
doubled the line for some minutes. The English wished to 
take advantage of these circumstances to crush the rear 
French ship. The " London " steered with the wind on the 
quarter, and two other ships held themselves astern within 
reach of musketry; happily they let slip the moment of 
dividing us. The " Due de Bourgogne " and the " Conqué- 
rant " kept up a very severe fire upon them, which only left 
them time to fall off in sending two broadsides with scarcely 
any effect; in regard to the '* London," as soon as she could 
come abreast, she received scarcely some broadsides and 
rallied to the windward of her squadron, having lost her 
main-top yard. The last firing stopped about three o'clock. 
It was then distinctly seen that two of the enemy's ships of 
the line had been very roughly handled. M. Destouches made 
a signal to re-establish the line, but the " Conquérant" replied 
that she could not begin a fight again ; then the Admiral 
indicated the course to the south-east under little sail. The 
enemy lay to in order to make repairs ; at five o'clock 


he was seen bearing off to the west. The next day the ves- 
sels of the Fpench squadron took different directions and 
passed the afternoon in lying to. The " Conquérant " made 
repaii's ; the other ships had suffered but little. On Sun- 
day the 18th we chased a large vessel, which was taken 
and manned by the " Hermione." The fight was a sharp 
one, well-conducted, and reflected credit on the French 
navy, but the object failed, and glory is only a chimera when 
it does not offer practical results. The " Conquérant," the 
" Ardent," and the " Jason " are the three ships of the line 
that fought the hardest, and MM. de la Grandière,^"* de 
Marigny, and de la Clocheterie,^^ the three captains ^^ who 
were able to show the most their bravery and skill. The 
English squadron was composed of eight ships of the line — 
one of 98 guns, three of 74, three of 64, and one of 50. 
The French squadron was composed of a ship of the line 
of 80 gims, two of 74, four of 64, and one of 44. The 

'■^* " Charles Marie, Count de la Granclière, was born at Brest in 
1729. After 43 years' service, 28 at sea, he was made Commodore, 
August 20, 1784. He had then been present in eleven naval engage- 
ments. He became rear-admiral in 1792, and died at Eennes in 1812." 
Operations of the French Fleet, p. 113. 

^^ " Chadeau de la Clocheterie, killed in this last action [April 12th, 
1782] of the war, was a highly distinguished officer, and opened the 
war in the Belle Poule by his brilliant action with the Arethusa, 
Marshal], in the face of an English fleet. He commanded the Jason, 
64, in the fleet of De Ternay, which brought out Rochambeau ; and in 
the skirmish with Commodore Cornwallis would have taken the 
Euby, but for De Ternay's excessive prudence." Operations of the 
French Fleet, p. 113. 

3^ "The 'Conquérant,' commanded by M. de la Grandière, the 
' Jason,' and the ' Ardent,' by MM. de Marigny and la Clocheterie 
were the vessels that distinguished themselves." Eochambeau's Mé- 
moires, i. 265. 


enemy was superior, but can boast of no advantage ; but 
the parties gave as good as they took. 

On the 13th of April, we learned that the cutter " Guêpe," 
from which we had not heard since she parted with the 
'•' Eveillé," was lost off Cape Charles, but that the Chevalier de 
Maulevrier [her commander] and all her crew were saved. 

On the 1 8th of April, all the transports, chartered at the 
expense of the King, which had carried our troops, set 
sail for St. Domingo, under the escort of the frigates " Sur- 
veillante " and " Hermione." The latter is to leave the con- 
voy off the mouth of the Delaware to go to Philadelphia, but 
the " Surveillante " will accompany it to its destination. 

On the 6th of May, the frigate " Concorde " arrived from 
France at Boston, after a passage of forty odd days. She 
had on board the Count de Barras,^'' commander of the squad- 
ron, who is to take the place of the Chevalier de Ternay, 
and the Viscount de Rochambeau. 

On the 18th of May, seven hundred and fifty men, drawn 
by detachments from the regiments, from the • artillery, and 
from the legion of Lauzun, were embarked on our eight 
vessels of war. It is thought that the squadron has asked 
for these troops, for the cruise which it is going to make, 
to protect the arrival of the convoy which we expect from 

On the same day, an English fleet was signalized, which 
anchored between Block Island and Point Judith. There 
were nine vessels, all ships of the line. 

""Louis, Count de Barras St. Laurent, born in Provence, liad 
served long in the Frencli navy, but liis chief services were those in 
America. He was a particular friend of the Count d'Estaing, and 
commanded his vanguard when he forced the entrance of Newport.' 
Operations of the French Fleet, p. 67. 


On the 22d of May, a small convoy of six vessels, which -wo 
were expecting from Boston, appeared and was signalized off 
Bedford. M. de Barras, as soon as he heard the news, deter- 
mined to get under way and save this small convoy, which 
it would have been shameful to allow to be taken within 
sight. He made the signal to the squadron to hold itself in 
readiness to sail ; but the wind being directly ahead for the 
English, while it favored us, it became useless to carry out 
the project of M. de Barras, who, it seems to me, will en- 
deavor in all cases, to uphold vigorously the honor of the 
French navy. 

The English, stationed since the 1 8th of May between 
Block Island and Point Judith, left their position on the 
23d of May, and it is not known where they are going. 

On the 5th of June, our troops who embarked on board 
of the squadron [on the 18th ult.] were debarked. 

The whole month of May and the beginning of June had 
been occupied in preparations for the departure of the 
French troops from the island of Rhode Island, for carrying 
all the magazines to Providence and Hartford, in the dispo- 
sition of the marches and camps, in buying horses for the 
artillery and oxen for the wagons, and in the disposition for 
commissary stores and forage. 

On the 1 8th of May, the Count de Rochambeau and the 
Chevalier de Chastellux set out from Newport to go to 
Wethersfield, near Hartford, to see General Washington, 
with whom they had a rendezvous. 

Our generals came back on the 26th, and from the mo- 
ment of their return, all the preparations were redoubled 
in activity; the Count de Rochambeau and M. de Barras 
held several conferences together. It seemed decided that 


our squadron should leave Newport harbor at the same 
time that we abandoned the ports there, that it should go 
to Boston, where it would be in greater safety from any 
attack than at Rhode Island, where it would be exposed as 
soon as it should no longer be supported by land forces in 
considerable number. This resolution, with which the gen- 
erals even seemed to agree, was followed by a moment of 
indecision. M. de Rochambeau was of the opinion that the 
squadron ought to remain at Rhode Island, while M. de 
Barras thought that it ought to go to Boston. It was essen- 
tial, however, to unite opinions, to act in concert, and to 
follow a fixed purpose. To end this indecision and discus- 
sion, there assembled on the 31st of May, on board of the 
" Due de Bourgogne," a council of war,^^ made up of M. de 
Barras and the captains of the ships of the line on the one 
part, and of our generals, brigadiers, and brigade commanders 
on the other. The session lasted five hours, and the de- 
cisions were kept secret. The Duke de Lauzun was charged 
with taking them to General Washington, at New Windsor. 
Two days after, it was remarked that the squadron was no 
longer making preparations to leave, and it was felt that ihe 
intention was to remain at Rhode Island, and to have it pro- 

^'^ " I proposed to Admiral Barras to hold a council of war, com- 
posed of the general and superior officers of the army and navy, a 
plan which was indicated in our instructions whenever circumstances 
should require. M. de Barras having accepted the proposition, it 
was discussed, whether, cousidei'ing the weakness of the garrison 
in New York from the different detachments sent to the South, the 
French squadron could remain in the harbor of Rhode Island after 
the departure of the French army, with a detachment of five hun- 
dred [French] men, under M. de Choisy, and a thousand of American 
militia, to occupy the forts, which would protect its anchorage." 
llochambeau's 3Iéinoires, i. 275-6. 


tected from the land side by four hundred men, taken by 
detachments from our four regiments, and to join with them 
fifteen hundred of the American militia, the whole under the 
command of M. de Choisy.^^ The Due de Lauzun returned 
from New Windsor on the 8th of June, with the answer of 
General Washington ; and two hours after, the same persons 
who had made up the first council of war assembled again on 
board of the " Neptune," and came, after a session of four 
hours, on board of the " Due de Bourgogne," where M. de 
Barras had invited us to a grand dinner. On the next day, 
the 9th of June, the brigade of Bourbonnois '*" received 
orders to embark with arms and baggage upon small Ameri- 
can boats, which took us to Providence. 

On the 10th of June, at five o'clock in the morning, the 
brigade of Bom-bonnois embarked upon the little boats that 
were awaiting them, and only reached Providence at nine 
o'clock in the evening. It was impossible the same evening 
to lay out the camp, to pitch the tents, and to get the neces- 
sary straw and wood. The Baron de Viomesnil got for 
that night, from the town authorities, some large empty 
houses, where he lodged the soldiers ; and the next day, 
the 11th, at six o'clock in the morning, we encamped upon 

^3 " M. de Choisy, brigadier of the forces, au officer distinguished for 
his great valor, was appointed to protect the anchorage of the squad- 
ron with a detachment of only five hundred men and one hundred 
American militia." Souvenirs du lieut-. général M. Dumas, i. 67. 

^" I infer that the brigade of Bourbonnois was made up of the 
regiments of Bourbonnois, and of Eoyal Deuxponts, from the fact that 
these regiments generally kept together ; and at the siege of York- 
town, according to contemporaneous maps, they encamped side by 
side ; and, for the same reasons, it may be inferred that the brigade 
of Soisonnois was made up of the regiments of Soisonuois and of 
St. Onge. 


the height whicli commands Providence on the west. The 
brigade of Soisonnois arrived the same day and encamped 
on our left. 

The King's squadron remains definitely at Newport. It 
'is guarded by four hundred men of our troops, and the 
American militia,'*^ who come in very slowly, and whose 
term of enlistment, so they say, is very short. We shall 
remain eight days in camp at Providence ; and this time is 
necessary for us to collect horses for the artillery and the 
ambulances, wagons to carry our baggage, oxen to draw 
them, and to await four hundred and fifty men for our army, 
who have just arrived at Boston upon the convoy coming 
from France.^^ 

From Providence they tell us that we ought to go in four- 
teen days to the Hudson Hiver, of which twelve will be of 
march and two of rest, where we shall await new orders. 
The march thither, as it is not near the enemy, for 
greater convenience will be made regiment by regiment. 

■*' "General Washington seeing the great diminution of our little 
army, and of the squadron enfeebled by sickness, authorized me to 
make a requisition for the militia of the State of Boston [ !] and of 
Rhode Island, to aid me in the works and the defence of the island." 
Rochambeau's Mémoires, i. 245. It is a curious fact that " the name 
of Bostonian, which belongs only to the inhabitants of the Province 
of Massachusetts, one of the four which form iSTew England proper, 
has nevertheless become the general and common name of the in- 
habitants of the thirteen Provinces." Abrégé de la Bévolution de 
V Amérique Anglaise. Paris, 1778, p. 3. 

^^ This convoy brought six hundred and sixty recruits for Rocham- 
beau's army, of whom only four hundred were fit for duty on their 
arrival. The Abbé Eobin, author of a volume quoted in these pages, 
came as chaplain, with this body. Operations of the French Fleet, 
p. 34. 


On the 16th of June, the Baron de Viomesnil reviewed 
us on beginning oui- campaign ; on the same day our recruits 
arrived from Boston. 

On the 18th of June the regiment of Bourbonnois, on 
the 19th the regiment of Royal Deuxponts, on the 20th the 
regiment of Soisonnois, and on the 21st the regiment of 
Saint Onge, left successively the camp at Providence, 
keeping always between each other the distance of a day's 
march. We encamped the first day at Waterman's Tavern, 
the second, at Plainfield, the third, at Windham,* the fourth, 
at Bolton, and the fifth at Hartford. Each regiment will 
stay there two days, and we shall take up our march in the 
same order in which we came to Hartford. 

Having arrived on the 22d of June, the regiment of Bour- 
bonnois broke up its camp on the 25th, the regiment of Royal 
Deuxponts on the 26th, the regiment of Soisonnois on the 
27th, and the regiment of Saint Onge on the 28th ; and they 
encamped on the first day of the march at Farmington, the 
second at Baron's Tavern, the third at Breai Neck, and the 
fourth at Newtown. All the different camps which we have 
had since leaving Newport, have been selected only for the 
object of making progress, and we were much too far from 
the enemy to take any other precautions than those which 
our own discipline required. Thus far the only thing that 

* At Windham we encamped in a little valley, surrounded by woods. 
An hour after our aiTival, a Are broke out in the woods on the left of 
the camp. We employed three hundred men, in trying to put it out, 
but did not succeed. The fire burnt only the brush and did not attack 
the large trees. This accident, appalling in every [other] country, 
caused no excitement among the Americans, whose country is full of 
fbrests. Sometimes even they are very glad, because it saves them 
the trouble of cutting down the trees to clear the land. 


has occupied us has been our convenience; and what would 
spare the troops from fatigue ; but after reaching Newtown 
we should have been guilty of neglect, if we had continued 
to show the same confidence in the impossibility of attacks 
on the part of the enemy. 

The Count de Eochambeau detached for the first time at 
Newtown the battalion of grenadiers and chasseurs from the 
brigade of Bourbonnois. The General had in the first place 
the plan of joining there our four regiments, and of making 
us leave then, brigade by brigade, separated by one day's 

The brigade of Bourbonnois was going to march on the 
2d of July, and the brigade of Soisonnois on the 3d. But 
a courier, whom M. de Rochambeau received from General 
Washington on the night of the 30th of June — 1st of July, 
hastened our march. They beat the reveille at two o'clock in 
the morning, and the brigade of Bourbonnois broke camp and 
left Newtown on the 1st of July. The regiment of Soison- 
nois remained in its position to await the regiment of Saint 
Onge, which did not arrive until to-day ; and the two reg- 
iments will leave together to-morrow, the 2d of July. 

The brigade of Bourbonnois encamped the same day at 
Ridgebury, the next day, the 2d of July, at Bedford, and 
on the 3d, at North Castle, where we were joined by the 
brigade of Soisonnois, which doubled one march, and arrived 
in one day at North Castle from Ridgebury. 

The grenadiers and chasseurs continue to be detached. 
The legion of Lauzun, which joined us yesterday, the 2d of 
July, at Bedford, left the same evening, re-enforced by Shel- 
don's American Dragoons, to go after four hundred tories 
who had shown themselves in this neighborhood, and driven 
off cattle. 


During our march from Newport to the Hudson River, 
General Washington, whose movements were in concert with 
ours, left his winter quarters near New Windsor and went 
to Peekskill on the North River (or Hudson) where, accord- 
ing to the plan agreed upon, the French army and the Amer- 
ican were going to unite. On his arrival at Peekskill, Gen- 
eral Washington heard the news of a sortie of English troops 
from the island of New York, who liad moved on West- 
chester. He resolved to attack them and formed in conse- 
quence an advance-guard of a thousand or twelve hundred 
men under General Lincoln. '^^ He sent at the same time a 
courier to the Count de Rochambeau to inform him of his de- 
signs, to make arrangements to appoint him another rendez- 
vous for meeting, to make him hasten the march of our army, 
and to ask for the legion of Lauzun. This was the reason, 
which made us leave Newtown so suddenly ; whicli made the 
legion of Lauzun leave the same evening of its arrival at 
Bedford; which made the brigade of Soisonnois make a 
double march ; and which made us push forward to North 
Castle, within reach, and ready to march on the first 
order that should require our presence, which would have 
become necessary, if the course of the English, that of Gen- 

^3 As he [General Washington] had perceived that General Clinton 
had dispersed his troops in several camps, and sent large detachments 
into the Jersej^s, he endeavored to surprise Fort Washington at the 
entrance of the island of New York ; he gave the execution of the 
coup de main to General Lincoln, who commanded the vanguard, and 
marched with the remainder of the army to support him. At the 
same time he asked General Rochambeau to hasten the march of the 
first brigade and of the corps of Lauzun, in order to second him, if 
he should be seriously engaged with the main body of the English 
Army." Souvenirs du lient. -général 31. Dumas, i. 68. 


eral "Washington and ours had brought on a serious and 
general action. 

The advance guard under General Lincoln went down the 
North River in boats. General Washington followed the 
banks to support Lincoln ; the legion of Lauzun and Shel- 
don's^"* Dragoons arrived from another direction ; and we for 
our part awaited events at North Castle. In short, General 
Lincoln attacked on the 3d of July ; whether he set about it 
wrong * whether he attacked too soon, or whether the enemy 
was too many for him, he was driven back, losing eighty 
men, killed or wounded, and fell back upon General Wash- 
ington, who had taken with his little army a position proper 
to cover Lincoln's retreat. The legion of Lauzun, which had 
only heard the musketry without taking part in the fight, 
retired, and thus the day ended little memorable and little 

On the 5th of July, General Washington, whose array had 
already encamped on the spot that we shall occupy to-mor- 
row, came to see us at North Castle. 

. On the 6th of July, we left the camp at North Castle, and 
came, after a very long and fatiguing march and excessive 
heat, to occupy the camp at Phillipsburg, where our union 

* We never could find out the truth of this attack, nor the reasons 
of its failure. The Duke de Lauzun who was there told me himself 
that he knew nothing about it. 

** This was Colonel Elisha Sheldon, who commanded a regiment of 
cavalry. He had some connection with the corresi^ondence between 
Arnold and André, though was in no way privy to the treason that 
prompted it. 


with the American army* was accomplished.'*^ The right 
of the two armies rests on a valley, and is placed on a very 
high and very steep elevation f which commands the valley ; 
in the centre of the line is low ground through which runs a 
little brook, and which has banks high and very steep, and 
separates the French from the Americans : the left rests on a 
small brook very near Brookriver, on which we have some 
posts ; the front of the camp is protected by woods and we 
have nothing to fear in our rear.^^ The legion of Lauzun, 
encamped at White Plains four miles to our left, protects 
us from that side ; every possible approach is guarded by 
French and American pickets, and our distance from Kifig's 
Bridge is only ten miles. 

On the 8th of July, General Washington had a review of 
honor of the French army.^^ 

On the 14th of July, at six o'clock in the evening, the 

* They told us at Newport that the American army had 10,000 men. 
It has however only 2,500 or 3,000 men, but this is not a very big lie 
for the Americans. 

t Three miles from the North River. 

■•^ " The two armies joined in the camp of Phillipslnirg three leagues 
from Kingsbridge, the most advanced post of the enemy on the Island 
of New York." Souvenirs du lieut.-général M. Dumas, i. G9. 

*" " The eflective force of the two armies united was barely 10,000 
men. We were encamped on one line only. The right, formed by 
the Americans, rested on the Hudson. It was covered by batteries 
to protect it from the fire of the English frigates, which were able to 
come up the river in this part, called Tappan Sea. The two French 
brigades formed the left of the line, leaning on a wood, and covering 
some small eminences. " Souvenirs du lieut.-général M. Dumas, 
i. 69-70. 

■»7 On the preceding day, the Count de Rochambeau had reviewed 
the American army. Dr. Thacher's Military Journal, 2d éd., p. 258. 


brigade of Bourbonnois, the battalions of grenadiers and 
chasseurs of the two brigades, and the legion of Lauznn 
received orders to march, and the retreat was to take the 
place of the general to fix the moment of departure. Our 
march was to be combined with that of a large part of the 
American army, but at seven o'clock we received counter 

On the 15th of July, at half-past ten o'clock in the evening, 
we heard several reports of cannon and musketry, and a 
moment afterwards they beat the general;^ the whole army 
rushed to arms and was formed in an instant ; after having 
remained in line of battle a half or three quarters of an 
hour we received orders to return to our tents. At five 
o'clock in the morning, a mistake like that of yesterday 
caused some alarm-guns to be fired, but did not make us get 
under arms. 

On the morning of the 16th of July, I learned that the 
guns heard yesterday had been fired at Tarrytown, (a small 
place on the banks of the Hudson River, where they had been 
in the habit of unloading flour, which comes to us from the 
Jerseys) by two English frigates,^^ which wanted to support 
the attack made by three English schooners with the inten- 
tion of seizing and burning five small vessels, laden with 

* It was a mark of zeal, very hasty, very badly understood, and 
very much misplaced, which made them beat the general. 

4s "Two of the British frigates, and several smaller vessels, passed 
up the North River as far as Tarrytown, in defiance of our cannon, which 
were continually playing on them. Their object appears to be to seize 
some of our small vessels which are passing down the river with sup- 
plies for our army. One small sloop, loaded with bread for the French 
army, has fallen into their hands." Dr. Thacher's Military Journal, 
2d éd., pp. 258-9. 


flour. The attack was unsuccessful ; indeed they succeeded 
in setting fire to one of these vessels, but it was put out and 
the cargo saved. We learn that this English flotilla was 
still in the same position as on the preceding day; the artil- 
lery from West Point had not as yet arrived ; General Wash- 
ington asked for two of our twelve-pounders and two howit- 
zers, which left at once. I preceded them and awaited the 
arrival of our pieces, which were immediately placed in posi- 
tion, and began to fire. Our artillery-men, unaccustomed to 
fire over water, sent but few shots into the frigates, whicli 
fired some guns at us and then warped themselves out 
of our range. 

The frigates remained in the same position on the 17th 
and the 18th; on the 19th, in going down the North River 
to return to New York, they were saluted on their passage 
at Dobbs' Ferry by two cannons, and two howitzers whicli 
had been brought there. One of the howitzers hit the 
frigate and set her on fire, and it caused such a panic that 
twenty -seven sailors jumped overboard.'*^ Some were 
drowned, three were captured, and the others got on board 
of the frigate again, upon which the fire had been put out. 

On the 21st of July, at half-past six in the evening, we 
received the same order as on the 14th of the month, for the 

*^ " The British frigates that passed up the North River a few clays 
since, tooli the advantage of wind and tide to return to New York. 
A severe cannonade commenced from our battery at Dobbs' Ferry, 
where the river is about three miles wide, they were compelled litei'- 
ally to run the gauntlet. They returned the tire as they passed, but 
without effect. On board the Savage, ship of war, a box of powder 
took tire, and such was their consternation, that twenty people jumped 
into the river, among whom was a prisoner on board, who informs us 
that he was the only man who got on shore, all the others being 
drowned." Dr. Thacher's Militarij Journal, 2d éd., p. 259. 


same number of troops, as many French as Americans, the 
same number of columns, the same artillery train, and the 
same hour of leaving. 

We set out in three columns at eight o'clock in the even- 
ing, in the direction of the island of New York, by horrible 
roads, which only allowed us to arrive at half-past four in 
the morning at the plain near King's Bridge, within sight of 
the English forts. We drew ourselves up in line of battle ; 
the American army, whose right flank rested on the river 
which separates York Island from the main-land, had the 
right in line of battle, the brigade of Bourbonnois had the 
centre, and the two battalions of grenadiers and chasseurs 
the left; several bodies of American troops were placed in 
front and approached the fort, No. 8, which the English hold 
on the main-land, and which might have been a mile and a 
half from us. There were some slight skirmishes between 
the English dragoons and the American dragoons, but they 
were of no consequence. The Count de Rochambeau and 
General Washington went during the morning to reconnoitre 
the forts. Some musketry and cannon were fired at them. 
We all went, as we could get permission, to make our private 
reconnoissances ; everywhere we found Hessian troops who 
fired some musketry at us, and as soon as they could see 
from the fort little groups within range, they fired cannon. 
We had neither tents nor baggage with us. The troops 
bivouacked the night of the 22d-23d, and remained in the 
same position during the day of the 23d, which the generals 
employed in making their reconnoissances of all the points 
of the island of New York. 

From the side of Morrisania they were protected by the 
legion of Lauzun and an American battalion. They ap- 
proached very near two pieces of artillery and two hundred 


men, who opened a sharp fire of artillery and musketry. 
No one however was killed or wounded, only the Count de 
Damas had his horse shot under him. 

On the 23d, at five o'clock in the evening, all the recon- 
noissances being ended, the General gave us the order for 
leaving ; our return march was made in the inverse order of 
that which we followed on the advance. The enemy did not 
attempt to trouble us, and at eleven o'clock in the evening 
we entered our camp again at Phillipsburg. 

From the 23d of July to the 14th of August, we have re- 
mained quiet at our camp in Phillipsburg. There were no 
other military operations but some foraging at Mamaro- 
neck^° and at New Rochelle on the Sound. They were near 
enough to the enemy for him to have taken advantage of it 
and to have troubled us. We took, as to the force and 
arrangements of the chain which was to insure the foraging, 
every precaution which the proximity of the English seems 
to demand, but our adversary is little enterprising and little 
vigilant, and no force has appeared. 

On the 14th of August, we received the important news 
of the near arrival of the Count de Grasse in the waters 
of North America. He set sail from Cape François on the 
4th of August, and brings with him twenty-eight ships of 
the line. They tell us also that there are three thousand 
troops to be debarked, and that all the marines will assist 
our operations on land. 

On the 19th of August, the French army left the camp at 
Phillipsburg. We do not know the object of our march, and 

*" General Heath, in his Memoirs, p. 114, speaks of this place as 
"Maroneck," which is very much like Moreueck, the word used in 
the French text. 


are in perfect ignorance wlietlier we are going against 
New York, or whether we are going to Virginia to attack 
Lord Cornwallis, who now occupies Portsmouth with a con- 
siderable force.^^ A rear-guard is essential under the pres- 
ent circumstances. The Count de Rochambeau formed it of 
the two battalions of grenadiers and chasseurs of the army 
and of the legion of Lauzun. The Viscount Viomesnil is 
commander-in-chief of it; I command the battalion of the 
grenadiers and chasseurs of the brigade of Bourbonnois, and 
the Chevalier de la Valette, lieutenant-colonel of the regi- 
ment of Saint Onge, commands that of the brigade of Soi- ' 
sonnois. We occupied the avenues to New York during the 
removal of the army and the artillery. The troops began 
to march at noon, and it was not till half-past two that we 
could draw in our pickets and begin our march. At a mile 
from the camp the battalions of grenadiers and chasseurs 
were united ; and at a little distance further on, we began to 
find broken wagons, which we could not leave behind, and 
which so retarded our march that at eight o'clock in the 
evening we had made only four miles. A severe rain, which 
had spoiled and broken up all the roads and wet us all 
through, caused the Viscount Viomesnil to order a halt at 
the house of Alexander Lark, where we made great fires 
and dried ourselves as well as we could, and then bivou- 

On the 20th of August, at one o'clock in the afternoon, we 

*' " Our destination has been for some time matter of perplexing 
doubt and uncertainty ; bets have run higli on one side, that we were 
to occupy the ground, marked out on the Jersey shore, to aid in the 
siege of New York, and on the other, that we are stealing a march 
on the enemy, and are actually destined to Virginia, in pursuit of 
the army under Lord Cornwallis." Dr. Thacher's Military Journal, 
2d éd., p. 262. 


started again, and got as far as Leguid's Tavern at eleven 
o'clock in the evening, where we passed the night. 

The army, whose rear-guard had been separated during 
these two days, had been on the day of its departure as far 
as North Castle, where it arrived only on the 20th of Au- 
gust, at five o'clock in the morning, after marching seventeen 
consecutive hours. It remained there the whole day, the 
20th, and we know that we must join it to-morrow. 

On the 21st of August, we left Leguid's Tavern, and joined 
the main army at Pines' Bridge upon the Croton River; 
thence the battalion of grenadiers and chasseurs of Bourbon- 
nois formed the immediate rear-guard of the army ; and the 
battalion of Soisonnois received the order to remain on the 
banks of the Croton until all the trains had passed. We 
marched that day as far as Hounds Tavern, where we found 
our tents again and encamped. My battalion encamped 
separately upon the left flank of the army. 

On the 22d of August, I formed the immediate advance- 
guard of the array, as far as the camp at Verplanck's Point 
on the North River. The grenadiers and chasseurs then 
received orders to return to their regiments, and we prepare 
to pass the river with all possible despatch. The heavy 
artillery and the legion of Lauzun were to pass to-day, and 
take position on the other side of the Hudson River. 

The day of the 23d of August has been employed in em- 
barking and taking across all the trains.* 

* An enemy of any boldness or any skill would have seized an 
opportunity so favorable for him and so embarrassing for us, as that 
of our crossing the North River. I do not understand the indifference . 
with which General Clinton considers our movements. It is to me 
an obscure enigma, and I hope that they never will reproach me with 
giving similar ones to be solved. 


On the 24th of August, the brigade of Bourbonnois crossed 
the Hudson Eiver, and went to encamp at Haverstraw, near 
Smith's ^^ house, in which Arnold formed with the English 
Major André the infamous plot of betraying his country. 

Here now is the order of our march : General "Washing- 
ton, with nearly three thousand men, precedes us by a day ; 
the brigade of Bourbonnois and the legion of Lauzun follow 
on the next day, and the march of the combined army is 
ended on the third day by the brigade of Soisonnois. Gen- 
eral Washington left General Heath at the camp, at Ver- 
planck's Point, with three thousand men to defend the State 
of New York and the North River valley. I do not know 
whether his command will keep its position or go up the 
river to West Point. 

On the 25th of August, we encamped at Suifcrns. 

On the 26th of August, we marched to Pompton.* The 

* After the troops were established in their camp, I took advan- 
tage of being in the neighborhood of Totoha Falls, ^' and went to 
see them. Although fatigued, I have never regretted the ten miles 
going and the ten miles coming back, which it was necessary that I 
should undertake, in order to satisfy my curiosity ; and I found the 
spectacle of this cascade as singular as it was imposing. 

** This was Joshua Hett Smith, a brother of the Tory Chief Justice 
Smith, and a man of considerable influence. He was arrested at Fish- 
kill for his connection with Arnold in his infamous treason, and after- 
wards tried and acquitted. His house is near Haverstraw, and stands 
upon the brow of an eminence, known, for obvious reasons, as Trea- 
son Hill, and commands an extensive view of the Hudson, and the 
country beyond. Smith died in New York in 1818. Lossing's Picto- 
rial Field Book of the Eevolution, ii. 184. — The Marquis de Chastellux 
speaks of seeing his house in November 1780, and says that " it is 
punished by solitude, and is in fact, so deserted, that there is not a 
single person to take care of it, although it is the mansion of a large 
farm." Voyages de 31. le Marquis de Chastellux. Paris, 1786, i. 8. 

" "At Patterson [New Jersey], the Passaic has a fall of seventy -two 


army of General Washington is separated from us, and has 
the appearance of going towards Paulus Hook ^'* or towards 
Staten Island. I cannot make up my mind as to the object 
of our march. I am inclined to believe that the Americans 
will attack one of the two points which they are threaten- 
ing, and I am quite certain that they will not act without 

On the 27th of August, we encamped at Hanover or 
Whippany, near Morristown. We are going to remain 
to-morrow. It was here that I learned, under the strictest 
secrecy from one of my friends, well informed, that all the 
manœuvres by which we threaten New York are only a feint, 
that Lord Cornwallis is the real object of our marches, and 
that we are going to direct them towards Virginia. 

On the 29th of August, we encamped at Bullions' Tavern. 

On the 30th of August, at Somerset. 

On the 31st of August, at Princeton. 

On the 1st of September, we marched to Trenton, where 
we cross the Delaware. We keep our tents, but to-day the 
trains ford the river. To-morrow morning the troops go 
over in boats. 

On the 2d, wc encamped at Red Lion Tavern.^^ 

feet (or fifty feet perpendicular), affording immense water power, 
which has been improved by dams and canals. It is much visited by 
tourists." New American Cyclopœdia, xiii. 23. A description of 
these falls, now known as the Passaic, is given in Dr. Thacher's MilU 
tary Journal, 2d éd., p. 198. 

^■» Now Jersey City. 

" Red Lion Tavern was two miles from Bristol, and sixteen or sev- 
enteen from Philadelphia. v 


On the 3d of September, we marched 'to Philadelphia.^^ 
Congress was in session as we went through the city. We 
paid it the honors which the King ordered us to pay. The 
thirteen members took off their thirteen hats at each salute 
of the flags and of the officers, and that is all that I have seen 
that was respectful or remarkable. After going through 
Philadelphia, we encamped on the banks of the Schuylkill 
River, a good mile in front of the city. We remain to- 

On the 5th of September, we encamped at Chester, where 
we learned the authentic news of the arrival of the Count 
de Grasse with twenty-eight ships of the line, and three thou- 
sand five hundred troops under the Marquis de St. Simon, 
who landed them on the 27th of August, the day after his 
arrival, with orders to join the corps of the Marquis de La- 

The joy which this welcome news produces among all the 
troops, which penetrates General Washington* and the 

* I have been equally surprised and touched at the true and pure 
joy of General Washington. Of a natural coldness and of a serious 
and noble approach, which in him is only true dignity, and which 
adorns so well the chief of a whole nation, his features, his physiog- 
nomy, his deportment — all were changed in an instant. He put aside 
his character as arbiter of North America and contented himself for 
'the moment with that of a citizen, happy at the good fortune of his 
country. A child, whose every wish had been gratified, would not 
have experienced a sensation more lively, and I believe that I am do- 

se "Philadelphia was at one time gratified with the imposing spec- 
tacle of a French army in fine style of military array, consisting of 
six thousand men. They came down Front street; passed up Vine 
street, and encamped on the Commons at the Centre square. They 
were fine-looking soldiers, all in white uniform. They were under' 
command of General Rochambeau, on their way to Yorlitown." Wat- 
son's Annals of Philadelphia, ii. 328. 


Count de Rochambeau, is more easy to feel than to express. 
The moment which is to be the recomjjeuse of our hard- 
ships, of our fatigues, and of our absence draws near, and I 
hope that we shall enjoy it. 

On the 6th of September, we encamped at Wilmington. 

On the 7th of September, we marched to Elkton, which 
may be considered as the head of Chesapeake Bay. Elkton 
is better known by the name of Head of Elk, since it is 
there that the river Elk begins to be navigable. 

We hoped to find here sufiScient means to embark our 
whole army, but there are boats for only twelve hundred 
men, and M. de Rochambeau employs them for embarking 
the grenadiers and chasseurs and the infantry of the legion 
of Lauzun.^" The main body of the army will march by 
land as far as Baltimore, where I hope we shall go. aboard 
ships. If we cannot find means of transportation, it will be 
necessary to march as far as the York River, a long and 

ing honor to the feelings of this rare man, in endeavoring to express 
all their ardor.*^ 

" The impressions which Washington made on the French officers 
were deep and decided. General Dumas, in his Souvenirs, i. 44, 
says, that "General Washington went in person to the French head- 
quarters, accompanied by the Marquis de Lafayette. This interview 
between the two generals was to us a beautiful sight. We had been 
impatient to see the hero of liberty. His dignified address, the sim- 
plicity of his manners and mild gravity, surpassed our expectation, 
and won every heart." The Abbé Robin, in his Nouveau Voyage, 
pp. G2-3, is equally enthusiastic. See also Voyages de M. le Marquis 
de Chastellux dans l'Amérique Septentrionale. Paris, 1786, pp. 

^•^ " M. de Custine, colonel of the regiment of Saint Onge, commanded 
the van of Washington's army, composed of a thousand French gren- 
adiers, and as many American volunteers." Operations of the French 
Fleet, p. 75. 


painful march ; but we shall know how to endure it. We 
shall remain here to-morrow, the 9th [8th ?] of September, 
and shall start again on our march the day after to-morrow. 

On the 9th of September, we resumed our march. The 
trains were separated from the columns of troops, on ac- 
count of the slender means which the ferry over the Susque- 
hanna River affords for passing in boats ; they were obliged 
to make a detour and to seek a ford seven miles above the 
ferry ; the detour which they are making, the bad roads which 
they will meet with, will deprive us for several days of them ; 
and we gaily make an exchange of our beds for simple bear- 
skins. The troops passed over the Susquehanna ferry to- 
day, the 9th, in boats, and we went into bivouac a mile from 
the lower ferry, where we crossed the river. 

On the 10th of September, we bivouacked at Bush,^^ Har- 
ford [county]. 

On the 11th of September, we marched to White Marsh.^'' 
We were there joined by our tent wagons, but we hear 
nothing yet of our baggage-trains. 

On the 12th of September, we arrived at Baltimore. The 
Baron de Viomesnil^ as soon as we arrived, informed us of 
the means of transportation which had been furnished him, 
and which he thought sufficient to take the brigade of Bour- 
bonnois. He charged the Marquis de Laval and myself to 
examine this matter and to make an exact estimate of the 
number of men that each boat would hold. We have taken 

59 By the kindness of Colonel Brantz Mayer, of Baltimore, I am 
enabled to identify some of these places. " Burch Hartford " is Bush, 
at Bush River, sixteen miles east of Baltimore, in Harford County, on 
the Philadelphia turnpike. 

6" " Waite Marsch" is White Marsh, eleven miles east of Baltimore, 
on the Philadelphia turnpike. 


every possible care, but notwithstanding our desire to suc- 
ceed in embarking here, we see that it is impossible to think 
of it. The General has ordered for to-morrow a trial of 
embarking, and from that it will be decided whether we go 
by land or down Chesapeake Bay.^^ 

On the 13th of September, in the morning, the trial of 
embarkyig was made according to the plan of yesterday. 
The Baron de Yiomesnil considered it impossible to think 
of exposing the troops to the torture of one position, so 
uncomfortable and so restrained as that which they would 
be obliged to take for several days, and at great risks in the 
small boats, shamefully equipped in every respect. He 
determined to make us go by land, and all the arrangements 
for subsistence are going to be made. We have two days 
to remain here, and I shall occupy them with the indispensa- 
ble repairs of clothes and shoes. We shall march again on 
the 1 6th, and it will be the end of the month at the earliest, 
before we reach our destmation. The fatigue of so long a 
march is not the consideration which troubles me, but it is 
the fear that on our arrival, the operations against Lord 
Cornwallis will be begun, perhaps finished. The Baron de 
Yiomesnil nevertheless assured me, that he had the positive 
statement of the Count de Rochambeau that he would un- 
dertake nothing before the arrival of our army. May he 
keep his word ! 

When we learned the news of the arrival of the Count de 
Grasse, we already knew of the arrival of Admiral Hood at 
Sandy Hook ; and we are certain that he set sail two days 

61 Means for transportation at this time in Chesapeake Bay were 
very limited, as the English had destroyed everything upon which 
they could lay their hands, that could be used for this purpose. 


after his arrival, with the addition of the squadron of Ad- 
miral Graves. We think that the English fleet will endeavor 
either to aid Cornwallis, or to cruise for the sake of cutting 
off the squadron of M. de Barras, which we know left Rhode 
Island to join M. de Grasse. We cannot be without anxiety 
as to the fate of M. de Barras. 

On the 13th, our baggage reached us. A man, iirriving 
from Virginia, assures us that M. de Grasse has sailed from 
Chesapeake Bay, and he speaks of a fight between the 
French fleet and the English fleet. I do not give much faith 
to it. 

On the 15th, we have learned that the grenadiers and the 
chasseurs, who embarked at Head of Elk, have been obliged 
to put into Annapolis on account of bad weather. 

On the 16th of September, we resumed our march, and 
encamped at Spurrier's Tavcrn.^^ The Baron de Viomesnil 
received, while there, a letter * from M. de la Villebrune, 
captain of the ship " Romulus," which announced to him his 
arrival at Annapolis, with sufficient means to take us 
down Chesapeake Bay. This news changed the plan of the 
General. He called the colonels together, to tell us his in- 
tention of marching to Annapolis, and there embarking us 
on boats intended for that purpose. 

* This letter also assures us of the union of M. de Barras with M. 
de Grasse. 

«2 " ' Spurrer's Tavern ' was Spurrier's Tavern, twelve miles on the 
Washington road, now the Waterloo Tavern. It was built by one of 
the Spurriers of Annapolis, and known by his name. This road (viz. 
the Elk Ridge) was used by people who dreaded the fords and ferries 
to Annapolis. Of Scott's Plantation I can get no information." Letter 
of Colonel Brants Mayer. ^ 


On the 1 7th of September, we took the route for Annap- 
olis, and encamped at Scott's Plantation. 

On the 18th of September, we marched to Annapolis, 
where we found the boats which they had spoken of. They 
are working with all their might for the embarkment, and I 
hope that we shall be able to go on board to-morrow even- 

* We learned at Annapolis of the fight which the Count de Grasse 
had on the 5th of September with the English squadron, under Admi- 
ral Graves.^^ The English appeared oiT the capes : M. de Grasse, 
who had not formed a junction with M. de Barras, and who was 
necessarily anxious, did not hesitate a moment about going out to 
fight the enemy. He cut his cables, and was at once under sail ; as 
soon as the enemy discovered the intention of the French admiral, he 
set all sail to escape, and could be reached only by those French ships 
which were sheathed with copper.^* This fight of the leading ships 

63 «'The squadron of Admiral Graves had appeared on the 5th of 
September ofl' Chesapeake Bay. The Count de Grasse, though he had 
already detached fifteen hundred sailors for landing the troops of 
M. St. Simon in the James River, did not hesitate to cut his cables, and 
go to meet the English fleet with twenty-four ships of the line. The 
English admiral got to the windward ; the vanguard, commanded by 
M. de Bougainville, overtook the enemy, who was very roughly han- 
dled. The Count de Grasse pursued him to a distance, and on re-en- 
tering the bay, found the squadron of M. de Barras, who had profited 
by the action to reach the anchorage, after having ably convoyed the 
ten vessels which had our heavy artillery on board." Souvenirs du 
lieut.-général M. Dumas, i. 176. 

This victory of the Count de Grasse was of great importance to the 
allied army. If -jthe French had been defeated in this action, it would 
have left the British in the possession of Chesapeake Bay, and 
would have thwarted the plans of General Washington for the cap- 
ture of Yorktown, and of the British army. 

64 u I'rauce began this war with the great disadvantage of fighting 
the swift, copper-fastened men-of-war of her rival with her own 
old-fashioned wooden bottoms." Operations of the French Fleet, 
p. 14. 



On the 19th and 20th of September, we were engaged in 
embarking all the material of our army, but we did not go 
aboard until the morning of the 21st. Our little squadron 
is composed of the " Romulus," the frigates " Gentille," 
" Diligente," " Aigrette," "Iris," and the " Richmond ^^ (the 
last two have just been taken from the English), and nine 
transports, — in all fifteen vessels.^^ I was embarked on the 
" Diligente," where I met Lord Rawdon,^^ Colonel Doyle, 
and Lieutenant Clark of the English Royal Navy, taken on 

with the rear ships was not less brisk on that account, and visibly 
disadvantageous for the enemy. Night separated the combatants; 
but M. de Grasse kept up the chase during the whole day of the 6th, 
but gave it up the next day, lest the wind changing, should give the 
English an opportunity of getting into Chesapeake Bay; he re- 
traced his route, and found the squadron of M. de Barras, which 
had entered during his absence.^^ 

^* " We made the Count de Barras, who had been at anchor in the 
roads for two days, start out two vessels of his division, as he could 
not make out which nation we belonged to. He had witnessed the 
affair of the 5th, but being unable to distinguish the French fleet, he 
had anchored in the roads, where we found him." Operations of the 
French Fleet, p. 75. 

66 The "Iris" and "Richmond" were frigates, each of forty guns, 
taken on the 11th of September, near the mouth of Chesapeake Bay. 

^^ " When Washington arrived at Williamsburg, and found both the 
French fleets in Chesapeake Bay, he sent ten transports of De Bar- 
ras's squadron to bring on the allied forces from Maryland." Eecol- 
lections and Private Memoirs of Washington, p. 237. 

«8 " Lord Rawdon, retiring to England in ill health, after his bar- 
barous and unjustifiable execution of Haines. He had now the morti- 
fication to witness, as a prisoner, the defeat of Cornwallis on land, and 
Graves on the ocean." Operations of the French Fleet, etc. p. 64, note. 

"The fleet, on their passage, took a packet from Charleston, with 
Lord Rawdon on board, bound to Europe." Letter of W. Gist to Gen- 
eral Washington, in Boston Independent Ledger, Sept. 24th, 1781. 


the packet " Queen Charlotte." ^^ The last two had their 
wives with them. 

At four o'clock in the afternoon, we set sail with a steady, 
fresh wind. 

On the 22 d, at four o'clock in the afternoon, we discov- 
ered the ships which blockaded the mouth of the York River ; 
at six o'clock, we perceived the main fleet, and at eight 
o'clock we anchored in Lynn Haven Bay, in the midst of 
the French fleet. 

On the 23d of September, at five o'clock in the morning, 
we set sail again, and entered the James River, which we 
intend to go up. 

In the evening of the 24th, we reached Hogs Ferry, the 
place of our landing. The navigation of the James River is 
very difficult ; we were continually obliged to heave the lead ; 
and, notwithstanding all our precautions, several vessels got 
aground, and were floated off" only by the tide. 

On the 25th of September, our troops landed and en- 
camped half a mile from Hogs Ferry. 

On the 26th, at four o'clock in the afternoon, we marched 
and encamped at Williamsburg. We learned there that 

«9 " On the 24th [of August, 1781], we took three English vessels ; 
one of which, commanded by a lieutenant in the navy, carried 16 
six -pounders and 8 eighteen-pound howitzers. She had on board four 
officers and several young women, who, on passing into our hands, 
were greatly rejoiced at their adversity, and said that the French, 
even on the sea, were better than their countrymen. There is one 
style in which they surely would not prove it — being very knowing. 
I would willingly rely on their judgment, so far as their experience 
goes. The smaller of the other two was carrying to England a gen- 
eral officer, who had commanded at Savannah and Charleston, which 
he had left a week before, and who enjoyed the highest reputation." 
Operations of the French Fleet., p. 64. 


Lord Cornwallis had sent some fire-ships to destroy the 
French vessels which were blockading him, but they have 
had no effect except to frighten badly some of the crews. 
Lord Cornwallis is at work briskly in entrenching himself, 
and shortly we shall march to the place of attack. 

On the 28th, the whole combined army was put in march 
from Williamsburg to encamp near Yorktown. During a 
part of the way the army marched in one column, the 
Americans having the lead. Four miles from our desti- 
nation, at a fork of two roads, both of which led to York- 
town, the Americans took the right road, and the French, 
composed, first, of the volunteers under the Baron St. 
Simon, brother of the general; second, of the grenadiers 
and chasseurs of the seven regiments of our army ; third, 
of the brigades of Agenois, Soisonnois, and Bourbonnois, 
marching left in front, — took the left road. 

We separated, brigade by brigade, a mile from the town 
and began to invest it. The brigade of Bourbonnois had 
scarcely reached the position it was to take, when we were 
informed that some troops of the enemy were appearing. 
The Count de Rochambeau gave orders to the Marquis de 
Laval to take the pickets and the artillery of the brigade and 
follow them up ; we started, and after five or six cannon 
shots, the small detachment took flight. 

On the 29th of September, General Washington advanced 
the American army lines in order to tighten the investment. 
The English troops, encamped in front, fell back on York- 
town and fired some cannon, which had no other effect than 
to wound one man. 

In the night of the 29th-30th, the English, whose ad- 
vanced posts touched ours, abandoned them, and evacuated 
two redoubts on the side of the French, and one on the side 


of the Americans, and all the posts and small batteries 
which they had built to defend a creek, which I should con- 
sider of the utmost importance to themJ° I followed the 
Count de Eochambeau in his rounds reconnoitring these 
redoubts. The places evacuated allowed us to sec and to 
judge of all the land which surrounds the town and the 
works which are to defend it; and it seems to me for this 
reason that the enemy ought to have kept these redoubts 
until they were forced to abandon them, although in them- 
selves, these works were of no great importances^ It 
would have compelled us to feel our way, and would have 
held us in doubt ; it would have retarded our works, per- 
haps, instead of leaving us masters of all the approaches 
to the place, to the distance of six or eight hundred yards. 
It is clear that the approaches are as easy as possible; 
means of shelter everywhere ; some small, commanding 
places ; and the works, neither strong nor considerable in 
themselves, are, it seems to me, too extended, forming too 
large an enclosure to be defended easily. We examined 
carefully the redoubts evacuated ; they are not solid ; the par- 
apets are not thick, and are made of sandy soil which obliges 

'■" Lieutenant-Colonel Tarleton, whose name is several times men- 
tioned in these pages, and who took an active part in the defence of 
Gloucester, wrote a History of the Campaign of 1780 and 1781, 
Dublin, 1787, in which he severely criticises, on pp. 374-5, the course 
of Lord Cornwallis, in giving up these positions, so necessary for 
prolonging the siege until reinforcements should come. 

71 u ^g were agreeably surprised this morning [Sept. 30] to find 
that the enemy had, during the preceding night, abandoned three or 
four of their redoubts, and retired within the town, leaving a consid- 
erable extent of commanding ground which might have cost us much 
labor and many lives to obtain by force." Dr. Thacher's Military 
Journal, 2d éd., p. 271. 


them to be propped up lest they fall down ; but the abatis 
are excellent, having no other fault but being made of pine, 
and, in consequence, easy to set on fire. I advanced three 
hundred paces nearer the town, and saw a ravine, nearly 
twenty-five feet deep, which surrounds the whole place, and 
enters York River above and below the town. This ravine 
seems to me to be an excellent defence, and I do not under- 
stand why the enemy left it. Our General at once occupied 
these two abandoned redoubts ; the one by the grenadiers of 
Bourbonnois, the other by fifty chasseurs of the regiment of 
Royal Deuxponts. The rest of the battalion of grenadiers 
and chasseurs of the brigade and its 'pickets were placed a 
little in the rear, behind a slope which shelters them from 
the guns. This reconnoissance and all these movements 
could not be made without being discovered from the town, 
and without causing some guns to be fired at us. They 
have aimed eight or ten shots at us, but no one has been 
killed or wounded. 

On the same morning, the Viscount de Viomesnil wishing 
to reconnoitre the enemy's works in advance of our left, 
pushed out in front the volunteers of St. Simon. They took 
possession of the woods which cover these works, by forcing 
the English pickets who defended them to fall back on a 
redoubt, which kept up a sharp volley of bullets and grape, 
and killed a hussar, broke the arm of another, and the thigh 
of an ofiicer of the regiment of Agenois. The Count de 
Rochambeau ordered, on the return of this reconnoissance, 
the camp of the brigade of Bourbonnois to be changed. 
We withdrew it in the course of the afternoon, and 
established ourselves in a wood, a half mile in advance of 
our first position. 

On the 1st of October, at daybreak, the Americans began 


to work on an intermediate redoubt, between those evacu- 
ated on the side of the French and that one evacuated on 
the side of the Americans. The English were not slow in 
finding it out, and fired at least three hundred cannon-sliots 
in the course of the day, which killed only two men, and have 
not interrupted the work. 

On the same day, I made a special reconnoissance on the 
enemy's left, and I did not find the defences better than on 
the side that I have already seen. The land is a little more 
open, and gives greater facility to the enemy to direct his 
shots at our works ; but that is the only advantage which 
this side has for the enemy. I went as far as the York 
River, and I saw all the English vessels, the position of 
Gloucester, and the French ships which blockade the river. 

On the 2d of October, the Americans keep up their work 
on the redoubts ; the English fire at them, but the whole 
loss of the day has been only one man killed. 

I have made to-day my reconnoissance of the enemy's 
right, and I consider that it is the best of all the parts of his 
line of defence. 

The fire that the enemy has kept up for the last two days 
on the redoubts which the Americans are building, has con- 
siderably slackened. They fire no more than a cannon shot 
from time to time. 

Eather sharp firing was heard in the morning from the 
other side of the river, after which Tarleton's cavalry was 
seen returning in a hurry and in disorder. We think that 
it has made a sortie from the lines of Gloucester to attack 
the legion of Lauzun, and we hope that it has been driven 

'* " The British are in possession of a place called Gloucester, on 
the north side of the river, nearly opposite Yorktown ; their force 


On the 4th of October, the news of the engagement be- 
tween the legion of Lauzun and Tarleton's cavalry is con- 
firmed ; the legion of Lauzun has repulsed Tarleton. The 
Duke de Lauzun has charged several times; he was sup- 
ported by M. de Choisy, who had just arrived with eight 
hundred marines. 

We have also received this morning the authentic news 
that after the naval fight of the 5th of September, the En- 
glish ship of the line " Terrible," of 74 guns, was so badly 
used that they blew her up ; moreover, the " London," the 
" Shrewsbury," the " Robust," and the " Prudent," were in 
bad condition. 

In the night of the 4tli-5th of October, we sent out from 
our redoubts more patrols than ordinarily, and the Vis- 
count de Yiomesnil, general officer of the day, expressly 
ordered them to go as far as the intrenchments of the 
enemy. This order has been perfectly executed; almost 
all our patrols have fired at the enemy, and it seems that 
this has caused him some anxiety, for he kept up during the 
whole night considerable and sustained cannonading. The 
new redoubt which the Americans have built, and the one 

consists of a British regiment, and Colonel Tarleton's legion of horse 
and infantry. In opposition to this force the French legion, under 
the command of the Duke de Lauzun, and a detachment of French 
infantry and militia are posted in that vicinity. Tarleton is a bold 
and impetuous leader, and has spread terror through the Carolinas 
and Virginia for some time past. In making a sally from Gloucester 
yesterday, they were attacked by the French, and defeated with the 
loss of the commanding officer of their infantry, and about fifty men 
killed and wounded, among the latter is Tarleton himself. The Duke 
lost three men killed, and two officers and eleven men wounded." 
Dr. Thacher's Military Journal. 2d éd., p. 272. 


which the English evacuated, and they repaired, arc both of 
them completely finished. 

The night of the 5th-6th was passed like the preceding, 
with the same patrols and the same cannonading. 

On the 6th of October, everything being in readiness ; the 
fascines, the gabions, the hurdles, and the saucissons being 
made ; almost all the siege-guns * having arrived ; the place 
of the trenches being settled upon, — the General has given 
the order to open them this very evening. 

The regiments of Bourbonnois and of Soisonnois have 
received orders for duty in the trenches, and two hundred 
and fifty men from each of the four regiments which are not 
in the trenches (the regiment of Touraine being on special 
duty) have been ordered for the work. All these troops 
were assembled at the beginning of the trenches at five 
o'clock in tlie afternoon ; and the Baron de Viomesnil, gen- 
eral ofîicer of the trenches, immediately disposed the regi- 
ments in the places where they were to cover them. The 
engineer officers, after night-fall, placed the workmen, and at 
eight o'clock in the evening the work began. The Ameri- 
cans, who have the right of the works and of the attack, 
have made a similar disposition ; the work has been very 
well conducted, and in the gi-eatest silence. The enemy 
has fired very little. The right of the attack begins at the 
York River, about four hundred yards from the town ; and 
the parallel extends, increasing from one hundred to one 
hundred and twenty yards' distance, near the redoubt newly 
built by the Americans. 

* Our siege-guns were put aboard the ships that came with the 
squadron of the Count de Barras. They were landed seven miles 
from Yorktown. 


The regiment of Touraine is detached from the army, and 
has a special duty. It is charged with the construction of 
the defence of a battery of eight pieces of artillery, and of 
six howitzers and mortars, which is building on the enemy's 
right, and which serves as a false attack. The enemy has 
directed his fire to-night upon this work. A captain of 
artillery has had his thigh broken, a grenadier has been 
killed, and six others have been wounded. 

On the 7th of October, the regiment of Agenois and the 
regiment of Saint Onge relieved the trenches at noon. 
They are now sufficiently advanced to be occupied by the 
first battalions of the regiments of the trenches ; the second 
battalions are placed in the ravines to the rear, but within 
supporting distance of the first battalions, at the first move- 
ment of the enemy. 

On the 8th of October, the regiments of Gatinois and of 
Royal Deuxponts were detailed for duty in the trenches ; we 
worked hard on the batteries, which seem to me to be placed 
perfectly ; and I hope that we shall very soon see the efi"ect 
of them. 

On the 9th of October, the regiments of Bourbonnois and 
of Soisonnois relieved the trenches ; at four o'clock in the 
afternoon, an American battery of two mortars and eighteen 
pieces of artillery, eighteen pounders and twenty-four pound- 
ers, began to fire, and the battery of the regiment of Tou- 
raine also began. 

On the 10th of October, one of the batteries of our front 
of attack, composed of four twenty-four-pounders, eight six- 
teen-pounders, four mortars, and two howitzers, has been 
unmasked, and we have begun to make it play. The superi- 
ority of the fire of these diiferent batteries over those of tlie 
enemy, silenced tlie firing from the town. All our guns 


have been well aimed ; several parapets can already be seen 
with their tops damaged ; and we know, from the reports 
of several deserters, that the enemy has been much aston- 
ished at the firing of our batteries, and that our shells, 
especially, disturb him much. He fires now scarcely six 
guns an hour, while heretofore he has kept up rather a 
steady fire, and well directed ; nevertheless, we have had no 
reason to complain of the number of men killed and wounded. 
The trenches have been filled to-day by the regiments of 
Agenois and of Saint Onge. The enemy wishing this morn- 
ing to make an attempt on M. de Choisy, sent up the river 
several flatrboats full of troops ; but M. do Choisy, knowing 
his design, brought some guns and forced him to retire. 

On the 11th of October, the regiments of Gatinois and 
of Royal Deuxponts relieved the trenches, and the same night 
we constructed our second parallel within short musket 
range of the town, to be ready against a vigorous sortie. 
Several companies were ordered in consequence as auxiliary 
grenadiers and chasseurs ; and the Chevalier de Chastellux, 
general ofiicer of the trenches, made such disposition of the 
troops as to receive the enemy in the most advantageous 
manner. At eight o'clock in the evening we began the 
work ; at ten o'clock we heard a score of musket shots ; 
everybody thought that it was the beginning of an attack, 
but it was only an English patrol. There were several 
small volleys of this kind during the night, and it is to this 
all the outside attempts of the enemy are confined. Never- 
theless, they fire many cannon, bombs, and howitzers ; but 
the fire of our artillery preserves its superiority, and the 
fire of the enemy has very little efiect. At daybreak, our 
men were sufficiently covered to be safe from running any 
more a-reat risks. 


The fear lest the fire of our batteries, but slightly ele- 
vated over the heads of the workmen, should produce some 
accident, caused the order to our artillery to be suspended. 
The enemy took advantage of this moment of silence to 
direct a very brisk fire against our works. The order to 
the artillery was then countermanded, and they gave again 
our batteries liberty to fire. Half an hour after our fire 
began, that of the enemy diminished ; and when we went 
into the trenches, it was reduced to what it was ordinarily. 

On the 12th of October, the regiments of Bourbonnois and 
of Soisonnois relieved the trenches. 

On the 13th, the regiments of Agenois and of Saint Onge 
were detailed for duty in the trenches ; the position of all 
the batteries of the second parallel is masked, and in two 
days they will be able to open. Two redoubts of the enemy 
interrupt completely the continuation of our second parallel, 
which ought of necessity to be continued to the York River. 
As long as these two works belong to the enemy, our parallel 
will be imperfect ; and we all hope that they will be attacked 
at once. 

On the 14th of October, the regiments of Gatinois and 
of Royal Deuxponts relieved the trenches ; at the assembly 
of the regiment of Royal Deuxponts for duty in the trenches, 
the Baron de Viomesnil ordered me to come to him on our 
arrival at the beginning of the trenches. I carried out his 
orders ; he separated the grenadiers and chasseurs of the 
two regiments of the trenches, and gave me the command 
of the battalion that he had just formed, telling me that he 
thought he gave me by that a proof of his esteem and con- 
fidence. His words were not enigmatical to me ; I was not 
mistaken as to the object for which he intended me. A 
moment afterwards he confirmed my opinion, telling me that 


I should make the attack on one of the redoubts which 
obstructed the continuation of our second parallel. He 
gave me orders to place my battalion under cover, and to 
wait until he should send for me to make with him a recon- 
noissance of the redoubt. In the course of the afternoon, he 
took me, with the Baron de L'Estrade, lieutenant-colonel of 
the regiment of Gatinois, whom he had given to me ' as 
second in command, and two sergeants from the grenadiers 
and chasseurs of this regiment, men as brave as they were 
intelligent, and who were charged particularly to reconnoitre 
with the strictest exactitude the road which we should have 
to follow during the night. We examined with the greatest 
care the object of the attack, and all the details. The Gen- 
eral explained very clearly to us his plans. M. de L'Estrade, 
on account of his experience, and the perfect knowledge 
which he has of the course to take under like circumstances, 
would, moreover, make up for the blunders which I might 
commit. The General ordered me at once to form my bat- 
talion, and to lead it to that part of the trenches nearest to 
which we ought to come out. I called together the cap- 
tains of my battalion, and told them the duty with which we 
were honored. I had no occasion to excite their courage, 
nor that of the troops whom I commanded ; but it was my 
duty to let them know the wishes of the General, and the 
exact order in which we were to attack the enemy. 

We then started to go into the trenches ; we passed by 
many troops, either of the trenches, of workmen, or of the 
auxiliary grenadiers and chasseurs. Everybody wished me 
success and glory, and expressed regrets at not being 
able to go with me. That moment seemed to me very sweet, 
and was very elevating to the soul and animating to the 
courage. My brother, — especially, my brother, and I never 


shall forget it, — gave me marks of a tenderness which pen- 
etrated to the bottom of my heart. I reached the place 
that the Baron de Viomesnil had indicated to me ; I there 
awaited nightfall ; and shortly after dark, the General ordered 
me to leave the trenches, and to draw up my column in the 
order of attack. He informed me of the signal of six con- 
secutive shells, fired from one of our batteries, at which I 
was to advance ; and in this position I awaited the signal 
agreed upon. 

The chasseurs of the regiment of Gatinois had the head 
of my column. They were in column by platoons ; the first 
fifty canied fascines ; of the other fifty there were only eight 
who carried ladders ; after them came the grenadiers of 
Gatinois, ranged by files, then the grenadiers and chasseurs 
of the regiment of Royal Deuxponts, in column by sections. 
The whole was preceded by the two sergeants of the regi- 
ment of Gatinois, of whom I have already spoken, and by 
eight carpenters, four from the regiment of Gatinois, and 
four from the regiment of Royal Deuxponts. The chas- 
seurs of the regiments of Bourbonnois and of Agenois, were 
a hundred paces to the rear of my battalion, and were in- 
tended to support me ; and the second battalion of the regi- 
ment of Gatinois, commanded by the Count de Rostaing, 
completed my reserve. Before starting, I had ordered that 
no one should fire before reaching the crest of the parapet 
of the redoubt ; and when established upon the parapet, that 
no one should jump into the works before receiving the 
orders to do so. 

The attack of the French troops was combined with that 
which the American troops were making on my right, upon 
a redoubt which rested on the York River. This redoubt 
was of equal importance on account of the obstacle which it 


interposed to the continuation of the second parallel. The 
Marquis de Lafayette commanded this attack, which was 
to be made at the same time, and was to begin at the same 
signal as our attack. 

The six shells were fired at last ; and I advanced in the 
greatest silence ; at a hundred and twenty or thirty paces, we 
were discovered ; and the Hessian soldier who was stationed 
as a sentinel on the parapet, cried out "Werda"? [Who 
comes there ?] * to which we did not reply, but hastened 
our steps. The enemy opened fire the instant after the 
" Werda." We lost not a moment in reaching the abatis, 
which being strong and well preserved, at about twenty-five 
paces from the redoubt, cost us many men, and stopped us 
for some minutes, but was cleared away with brave deter- 
mination; we threw ourselves into the ditch at once, and 
each one sought to break through the fraises, and to mount 
the parapet.t We reached there at first in small numbers, 
and I gave the order to fire ; the enemy kept up a sharp 
fire, and charged us at the point of the bayonet; but 
no one was driven back. The carpenters, who had 
worked hard on their part, had made some breaches in the 
palisades, which helped the main body of the troops in 
mounting. The parapet was becoming manned visibly. 

* The English officers taken iu the redoubt have told me since, that 
the moment we were discovered was seized by the English com- 
mander, named MacPherson, and by thirty men, to save themselves 

fThat was not an easy thing to do. I could not have succeeded 
without aid. I had fallen back into the ditch after a lirst attempt. 
M. de Sillegue, a young officer of the chasseurs of Gatinois, who was 
ahead of me, saw my difficulty, and gave me his arm to assist me iu 
getting up. He received at nearly the same time a musket shot in the 


Our fire was increasing, and making terrible havoc among 
the enemy, who had placed themselves behind a kind of 
intrenchment of barrels, where they were well massed, and 
where all our shots told. We succeeded at the moment 
when I wished to give the order to leap into the redoubt 
and charge upon the enemy with the bayonet ; then they laid 
down their arms, and we leaped in with more tranquillity 
and less risk. I shouted immediately the cry of Vive 
le Roi, which was repeated by all the grenadiers and chas- 
seurs who were in good condition, by all the troops in the 
trenches, and to which the enemy replied by a general 
discharge of artillery and musketry.'''^ I never saw a sight 
more beautiful or more majestic. I did not stop to look at 
it ; I had to give attention to the wounded, and directions 
to be observed towards the prisoners. At the same time, 
the Baron de Viomesnil came to give me orders to be pre- 
pared for a vigorous defence, as it would be important for 
the enemy to attempt to retake this work. An active enemy 
would not have failed, and the Baron de Viomesnil judged 
the English general by himself. I made my dispositions to 
the best of my ability ; the enemy showered bullets upon 
us, 'I did not doubt that the idea of the Baron de Viomesnil 
would be fulfilled. Finally, when all was over, a sentinel, 
charged with observing the movements without, called me, 
and said that some of the enemy were appearing. I raised 
my head above the parapet, and at the same time a ball, 

" " The French chasseurs and grenadiers met with more difficulties 
and greater loss ; but they entered with fixed bayonets, and made 
themselves masters of the redoubt. The Count de Deuxponts, the 
Count Chai'les de Damas, and several other French officers of distinc- 
tion wei'e amongst the foremost of the assailants." History of the 
Campaigns ofllSO and 1781, p. 386. 


which ricochetted in the parapet, and passed very near my 
head, covered my face with sand and gravel. I suffered 
much, and was obliged to leave the place, and to be con- 
ducted to the ambulance. 

Fifty-six grenadiers and chasseurs of the regiment of 
Gatinois, twenty-one grenadiers and chasseurs of the Royal 
Deuxponts,'^"* six chasseurs of the Agenois, and nine soldiers 
of the second battalion of the Gatinois, have been killed or 
wounded, in this attack, which lasted only seven minutes. 
Moreover, M. de Barthelot, captain of the regiment of Gati- 
nois, was killed ; M. de Sireuil, captain of the chasseurs of 
this regiment,* had his leg broken, and M. de Sillegue, 
second lieutenant of chasseurs, was shot through his thigh. 
The Chevalier de La Meth received two musket balls, one 
of which broke his knee-pan, and the other pierced his 
thigh.'''^ He volunteered for this attack, as also did the 
Count de Damas ; I endeavored to prevent their doing so ; 
but neither of them listened to the representations that would 

* M. de Sireuil died forty days after, from the effects of his wound. 

'''' General 'Washington gave "to the regiments of Agenois* [Gati- 
nois?] and Deuxponts the two pieces of brass ordnance captured 
by them, as a testimony of their gallantry in storming the enemy's 
redoubt on the night of the 14th instant," which gift was afterwards 
confirmed by a resolve of Congress. Memoir of General John Lamb. 
Albany, 1850, p. 387. 

'5 " I had just been relieved by the Chevalier de Lameth. He marched 
at the head of the column, leading the sappers, who cleared away the 
abatis, and cut down the palisades. He was the first to mount the 
parapet of the redoubt, and received point blank the first discharge 
of the Hessian infantry which occupied it. Balls passed through both 
his knees, and he fell into the ditch." Souvenirs du lieut.-général M. 
Dumas, i. 85. 


have kept them from glory. The Count de Vauban was also 
at my attack, and was charged by the Count de Rochambeau 
to'be present in order to give him an account of the affair.'^ 

''^ The foUowiug account of this affair is taken from the Boston 
Evening Post, November 17, 1781. 

"Copy of the report of liis Excellency the Count de Rochambeau: 

" On the night between the 14th and 15th instant, the trench was 
mounted by the regiments of Gatinois and Koyal Deuxponts, com- 
manded by the Baron de Viomesnil, to which were added our com- 
panies of auxiliary grenadiers. We had resolved to attack as soon 
as dark, the two redoubts on the left of the enemy, that were de- 
tached from their other works. The Marquis de la Fayette undertook 
that on our right, with the American troops ; the Baron de Viomesnil 
that on the left, with the French. Four hundred grenadiers, com- 
manded by the Count William Deuxponts and M. de L'Estrade, lieut. 
colonel of Gatinois, opened the attack ; they were supported by the 
regiment of Gatinois. The Marquis de la Fayette, and the Baron 
Viomesnil made so vigorous and strong disposition of their troops, 
that they carried two redoubts sword in hand, and. killed, wounded, 
or took the greater part of those who defended them. The number 
of prisoners amounts to seventy-three, one major and five other 
officers includtd. 

" The troops, both American and French, have shown the most dis- 
tinguished courage. The Count William Deuxponts was slightly 
wounded by a cannon ball ; he is not in the least danger. The Chev- 
alier de la Methe, Adjutant Quarter-Master-General, has been severely 
wounded in both knees by two different musket balls. M. de Sireuil, 
captain of the chasseurs of the regiment of Aginois, and two other 
officers of the same regiment have been wounded. 'Tis the third 
time that M. de Sireuil, though very young, has been wounded ; un- 
luckily, this time, the wound is very dangerous. We have had ten 
men killed or wounded. The troops are full of the highest praises 
of the Baron de Viomesnil, who likewise is exceedingly pleased with 
their courage and firmness. 

" I have ordered two days' pay to be distributed to the four compa- 
nies of grenadiers and chasseurs of the regiment of Gatinois and 
Royal Deuxponts, besides a considerable reward to the ax-bearers 
and carpenters, who open the way for the troops through the abattis 
and pallisadoes." 


With troops so good, so brave, and so disciplined as those 
that I have the honor to lead against the enemy, one can 
undertake anything, and be sure of succeeding, if the im- 
possibility of it has not been proved. I owe them the hap- 
piest day of my life, and certainly the recollection of it will 
never be effaced from my mind. Would that I were able to 
find myself, under like circumstances, again with them ; and 
would that I were able, especially after having again been 
happy through their means, to give them proofs, more real 
and more fit, of my zeal and my ardor to serve them. 

In the course of that night, the second parallel was con- 
tinued. It crosses the redoubt taken by the French and 
ends at the redoubt taken by the Americans, whose attack 
was equally successful with ours. 

The day of the 15th of October was employed in per- 
fecting the second parallel. In the night of the 15th-16th, 
the enemy made an assault ; the trenches were not guarded 
with all desirable precaution ; many slept ; there were few 
sentinels ; a picket that distrusted nothing ; some batteries, 
where there was nobody. In short, the enemy succeeded in 
spiking four guns of a French battery, and two of an Amer- 
ican battery.''^ We marched out forthwith against the ene- 

" General Washington, in a letter, dated Oct. 16th, 1781, says : 
" The works which we have carried, are of vast importance to us. 
From them we shall enfilade the enemy's whole line ; and I am in 
hopes we shall be able to command the communication from York to 
Gloucester. I think the batteries of the second parallel will be in 
sufficient forwardness to begin to play in the course of this day. The 
enemy last night made a sortie for the first time. They entered one 
of the French and one of the American batteries on the second par- 
allel, which were unfinished. They had only time to thrust the points 
of their bayonets into the touch-holes of four pieces of the French 
and two of the American artillery, and break them ofl"; but the spikes 


my ; but his retreat was already begun, and we could not 
overtake him. The guns that were spiked were rendered 
serviceable on the morning of the 1 6th ; almost all our bat- 
teries will be established and ready to open to-morrow. 

On the 17th of October, we began at ricochet with so 
much success, that .a large part of the fraises of the works 
of the place were knocked down, and in several places 
breaches were begun. At ten o'clock in the morning, Lord 
Cornwallis sent a flag of truce to General Washington, to 
decide the fate of the garrisons of Yorktown and Gloucester, 
and to demand a suspension of hostilities. From that 
moment they began to make arrangements for capitulation ; 
but they continued to fire until four o'clock, when by means 
of a new flag of truce, the firing stopped on both sides. 
Negotiations are entered upon, and we are assured that 
even the principal articles are already agreed upon. 

On the 18th of October, the arrangements for capitulation 
have been continued. Some little discussion, they say, came 
up which delayed the conclusion ; but this evening arrange- 
ments have been definitively settled. 

On the 19th of October, at nine o'clock in the morning, 

were easily extracted. They were repulsed the moment the support- 
ing troops came up, leaving behind them seven or eight dead, and six 
prisoners. The French had four officers and twelve privates killed 
and wounded, and we had one sergeant mortally wounded." Sparks's 
Washington, viii. 180. 

"In the night of the 15th, the enemy made a sortie with six hun- 
dred chosen troops, and finding all our redoubts well manned, 
attacked a battery of the second parallel, where he spiked four pieces. 
The Chevalier de Chatelus with his reserve, repulsed this sortie of 
the enemy. The four pieces, badly spiked, were in good condition 
six hours afterwards, through the care of General d'Aboville, com- 
mander of our artillery." Bochambeau's Mémoires, i. 294-5. 


the articles were signed; and at four o'clock in the after- 
noon, the English army, as prisoners of war, composed of 
the First Battalion of the Guards of the King of England ; 
of the Seventeenth, Twenty-Third, Thirty-Third, and Forty- 
Third Regiments of Infantry ; of the Seventy-First, Seventy- 
Sixth, and Eightieth Regiments of Scotch Highlanders ; 
of the Hessian Regiments of the Hereditary Prince and of 
Rose, of the Anspach and Baireuth Regiments ; of the Light 
Infantry, of the British Legion, and of the Queen's Rangers,'''** 
have filed between the French and American armies, drawn 
up in line of battle, the one opposite the other. The cap- 
tured army immediately laid down their arms, and returned 
without arms to Yorktown.'^ The regiments of Bourbonnois 
and of Royal Deuxponts, which were in the trenches when the 
negotiations began, were not relieved until after the cere- 

'^ A partisan corps, made up for the roost part of tories and desert- 
ers from the Americans. 

'^ It was only a year and a half before this time, that Lord Corn- 
wallis had received the sword of General Lincoln, at the surrender of 
Charleston ; and the same rigid conditions which he required at that 
time were now exacted from him. "We learn that General Lincoln 
received the captured Lord Cornwallis, and that the army played up 
Yankey doodle when the British army marched to lay down their 
arms." Boston Independent Ledger, Nov. 12, 1781. 

Until recently the custom has prevailed in some parts of Massachu- 
setts, and perhaps elsewhere, of celebrating occasionally the anni- 
versary of the surrender of Yorktown. Such a celebration was called 
a " Cornwallis " ; and it was intended to represent, in a burlesque 
manner, the siege of the town, as well as the ceremony of the sur- 
render. The most prominent generals on each side would be person- 
ated, while the men of the two armies would wear what was supposed 
to be their peculiar uniform. In 10 Cushing, 252, is to be found a 
decision of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, enjoining a 
town treasurer from paying money that had been appropriated by the 
town for such a celebration. 


The number of the enemy captured, as many soldiers as 
sailors, is more than eight thousand ; two hundred and four- 
teen guns, of which seventy-four are brass, fell into our 

On the 21st of October, the different captured regiments 
came out regiment by regiment from Yorktown, to be con- 
ducted to their different destinations, either in Virginia, 
Maryland, or Pennsylvania. 

Orders were given to the assistant quartermasters of the 
army to establish lodgings for the French army, which was 
immediately to take winter quarters, and to occupy the 
towns of Williamsburg, Hampton, Yorktown, and Glouces- 

The Count de Rochambeau was pleased to tell me that 
he had detailed me to take to France the duplicate of the 
news of the capture of Lord Cornwallis ; and he ordered 
me to hold myself in readiness to embark at the earliest 

On the 24th of October, after having taken orders from 
the Count de Rochambeau, and having received the packages 

80 "The French army went into winter quarters in the country 
between James and York Rivers, Hampton, York, Gloucester, Wil- 
liamsburg, etc., an intermediate position betwen the Northern and 
Southern States, from which M. de Rochambeau was able to send 
succor to the provinces which might be the most seriously threat- 
ened by the enemy." Souvenirs du lieut. -général M. Dumas, i. 91-2. 

**' The Count de Rochambeau sent the Duke de Lauzun to France to 
take the news of the surrender of Cornwallis by one frigate, and the 
Count des Deuxpouts by another [the ^ncZromagMe,] taking 'a dupli- 
cate account. Mémoires, i. 296. On page 301, he speaks of hear- 
ing in the beginning of 1782, of their safe arrival in France. The 
news of the surrender of Yorktown first reached London, Nov. 25th, 
by the way of France. Jesse's Life of George the Third. London, 
1867, ii. 333, note. 


which he had intrusted to me, I embarked at Yorktown to 
go to the fleet, and to take orders from the Count dc Grass'e. 
I slept on board of the "Ville de Paris," ^- and on the 25th, 
M. de Dumas, de Laval, de Charlus, and myself, embarked 
on board of the frigate " Andromaque," upon which we are 
going to leave for France. 

On the 26th, we were kept, back by the winds; on the 
27th, at two o'clock in the afternoon, we set sail with a fair 
fresh wind. After having passed the Middle Ground Banks,* 
the moment we found ourselves off Cape Henry, we saw the 
frigate " Concorde " making signals to us, repeating those of 
the frigate " Hermione," which was cruising between Cape 
Charles and Cape Henry, to inform the army of whatever 
went on outside. The " Hermione " signalized a squadron 
of forty-four sails. ^^ There was no reason to doubt that 

* The Count de Grasse, who had been lying moored since the be- 
ginning of his station in Lynn Haven Bay, had left that position, and 
had anchored behind the Middle Ground Banks.**'' 

**^ This was a noted ship in the French navy. She was a present 
from the City of Paris to the King, and carried 110 guns. She was 
captured by the English, April 12th, 1782, and afterwards foundered 
at sea. 

"^ " The ^ndromac/ie was about to hoist sail on the 2Sth, to carry 
duplicates of the same despatches ; but returned into the bay ; the 
frigates on the watch having signalled the English fleet; on the 
morning of the 29th, thirty-one sails could be already made out off 
Cape Charles; by evening, forty-four were signalled; the 30th, they 
made various manœuvres, sometimes on one tack, sometimes on the 
other ; at last, at three, they stood on the larboard tack, with the 
wind on the quarter, and we saw no more of them." Operations of 
the French Fleet, p. 164. 

84 <ixhe Count de Grasse then left the anchorage of Lynn Haven, 
where ships are not safe, and occupied that beyond Middle Ground 


tliej were the enemy, of whom we had been informed three 
days before. It was now impossible for us to continue our 
course, and we put about, to return to the James River. 

On the 28th of October, the enemy continued to cruise 
within sight, and we learn that they bring six thousand 
infantry to the aid of Lord Cornwallis. I imagine that they 
will soon learn of his surrender, and that they will give up 
the idea of attacking thirty-six French vessels with their 
twenty-eight vessels. Our position in the James River not 
being, very good, we set sail to-day to return to the main 
squadron, of which we shall await the departure before we 
leave ourselves. 

On the 29th, the English squadron is continually in sight, 
and we wait with impatience for the Count de G-rasse to 
make the signal to set sail. We went to-day on board of 
his ship ; he is suffering considerably from a severe oppres- 
sion in breathing [asthma?]. We there learned that the 
reasons of the delay in his leaving, are the embarkation 
of the troops of the division of M. de St. Simon. He is 
expecting, moreover, four hundred oxen to provision the 
fleet; and not wishing to return to Chesapeake Bay, he 
is obliged to wait until his vessels are all ready. 

On the 30th of October, there was no knowledge of the 
enemy this morning. 

On the 1st of November, as the enemy had not appeared 
for two days, the Count de Grasse sent an ensign on board 
of the " Andiomaque," to wish us a pleasant voyage, and to 

and Horseshoe Bank." Supplement à la Gazette de France, 20 Nov. 
1781. Translated by Henry B. Dawson, Esq., and found on page 37 
of Two Letters respectina the Conduct of Bear Admiral Graves. Mor- 
risania, N. Y., 1866. 


permit our captain, M. de Ravancl, to set sail. We got 
under way at eleven o'clock, passed Cape Henry at two 
o'clock, and afterwards brought it to bear east. The " Her- 
mione " escorted us until night. 

On the 2d of November, at half-past seven in the morn- 
ing, we discovered a sail at a great distance, which immedi- 
ately gave us chase. The orders of the Count de Grasse to 
avoid every action, were precise and clear; and for that 
reason we set all sail to escape. This vessel sailed better 
than ours, which did not sail well ; and if the day had lasted 
two hours longer, she would have come up with us. We 
took a false course during the night, and the next day we 
could discover nothing. 

From the 2d to the 20th of November, the day of our 
arrival in France, we made a good run. The fresh and 
strong winds drove us along better than we could expect 
from the speed of our frigate. The passage was rough ; we 
experienced some gales, but they favored our wishes, and 
accomplished our object. After a passage of nineteen days, 
we made the coast of France ; and on the 24th of November, 
I enjoyed the inexpressible pleasure of embracing, at Ver- 
sailles, those persons who are to me the dearest. 

The life of man is mingled with pain ; but one ought not 
to complain when he has enjoyed those delicious moments 
which are its compensations. A single instant makes him 
forget them ; and that instant deeply felt makes him even 
desire new pains, in order to enjoy again their recompense. 




Letter which the Baron de Yiomesnil, comnianding gen- 
eral of the attack on the two redoubts, wrote, in sending me 
the account he gave of these attacks to the Count de Ro- 
chambeau : 

In Camp front of Yorktown, 16 October, 1781. 

You have done so much, Count, for the success, which is 
going to liasten the capitulation of Lord Cornwallis, that I 
must make it my duty to address you herewith a copy of 
the account which I gave to the Count de Rochambeau of 
the events in the trenches on the 14th-15th. If I was mis- 
taken in regard to certain things which you could see before, 
you will do me great pleasure in giving me notice of it, so 
that I can correct my errors. I have a strong desire that 
the promotion I asked for you and for M. de L'Estrade, your 
comrade in glory, should be accorded. I believe the good 
of the service is interested in it. Events of this kind are so 
rare, the service which you have rendered has been so use- 
ful, and the distinction and the energy of your conduct are 
so well known throughout the whole army, that I do not 
think there exists a single Frenchman who could disapprove 
of your being made brigadier. 

As for myself. Count, I am too happy in being able to 
find this occasion of proving to you my opinion and my con- 
fidence ; I desire that this should prompt you to accord to 
me your friendship, and to continue to make some account 
of the sentiments of the tender and faithful attachment with 
which I have the honor to be, etc., 

[Signed] Viomesnil. 


Account Midered by tlio Baron de Viomcsnil to tlic Count 
de Rochambeau, of tlic attack on the two redoubts at York- 

In the Trenches, 14th-15th October, 1783. [sic] 

General : — General Washington having approved, last 
evening in the trenches, of the disposition which I had made, 
and of my instructions given to the Marquis de Lafayette, 
to General Steuben, as well as to MM. des Deuxponts, de 
L'Estrade, and de Rostaing for the attack on the two re- 
doubts on the left of the enemy, which you have prescribed 
for me to carry, I came back to the column of attack which 
I had proposed to lead in person, and after having given to 
the Count de Custine the directions and necessary orders 
about the troops which were to remain in the trenches, we 
debouched at the signal agreed upon, in good order and in 
silence. The two redoubts were attacked and carried 
nearly at tlie same time. The Marquis de Lafayette be- 
haved at the attack, with which he was charged, with as 
much intrepidity as intelligence. His infantry showed them- 
selves there as if they were grenadiers accustomed to 
difficult things ; all- those who defended the redoubt attacked 
by the Americans were killed or captured. A major and 
an officer were among the latter. The Count William des 
Deuxponts, who commanded four hundred grenadiers or 
chasseurs, whom I had intended for the attack on the grand 
redoubt, marched there, as well as M. de L'Estrade, lieuten- 
ant-colonel of the Gatinois, whom I had placed under his 
orders and in his advance guard, with so much order 
and firmness, that they were not six minutes in making 
themselves masters of this redoubt, and in manning it. 
They went in, both of them, with the first grenadiers, after 


tliey had cut a passage, with axe in hand, through the abatis 
in the ditch, and through the fraises of this work. A hun- 
dred and forty men who defended it, and who kept up a 
very sharp fire of musketry, were killed or captured. Some 
of them escaped, among whom Colonel MacPherson is sup- 
posed to be. The Count de Rostaing, who marched with 
two companies of auxiliary chasseurs, and the second 
battalion of his regiment, to the support of this attack, 
equally conducted himself with much courage and dis- 
tinction. Four hundred men of the regiment of Gati- 
nois showed themselves, under these circumstances, as if 
Auvergne ^^ had been there altogether. The particular 
details must please you. Unfortunately, they have lost 
nearly seventy men, of whom fifty were grenadiers or chas- 
seurs. M. de Berthelot was killed ; M. de Sireuil, captain 
of chasseurs, and an officer of great distincton, had his leg 
shattered, and M. de Sillegue, lieutenant of chasseurs was 
very severely wounded. The grenadiers and chasseurs of 
Deuxponts have had twenty-two men killed or wounded; 
the chasseurs of Agenois six men killed; those of Bour- 
bonnois, who had the head of the column, commanded 
by M. de Rostaing, fortunately lost no one. This decisive 

85 u rpjjg regiment of Gatinois was made up from the regiment of 
Auvergne, and was to lead the attack. The Count de Rochambeau 
said to the grenadiers : My boys, if I have need of you to-night, I 
hope you will not forget Auvergne sans tache, an honorable epithet of 
this regiment, which it has merited on all occasions. They replied 
that they would be killed to a man ; and at the same time asked to 
have their old name restored. They behaved in a manner worthy of 
the highest praise ; and the king has since by an ordinance, given this 
regiment the name of Royal Auvergne. M. de Sireuil, captain of 
chasseurs, was wounded, and died of his wounds." Histoire des 
Troubles de l'Amérique Anglaise. Paris, 1787, iii. 395. 


attack has cost in all nearly one hundred men ; but it will 
reflect the greatest honor on the Count William des Deux- 
ponts, M. de L'Estrade, the Count de Rostaing, and the 
officers and troops who have been engaged in it. There 
were joy and confidence before sallying out, silence, energy, 
and difficulties overcome during the attack, much order and 
humanity after the success. 

General, this is what I have seen of the nation, and of the 
grenadiers of Deuxponts, after twenty years of peace ; and 
this is what I am happy to announce to you. 

I ought also to speak to you of two sergeants of the regi- 
ment of Gatinois, whom I had particularly charged to march 
at ten paces in front of the grenadiers, to reconnoitre and 
to show the ways or the points the most favorable to clear 
the abatis, — the two men who have both been preserved^ 
have so well justified that which the Baron de L'Estrade 
had told me of their intelligence and of their bravery, that 
I consider it a duty to mention them with distinction ,• and 
I pray you not to refuse that I should have the honor of 
presenting them to you to-morrow morning. MM. de Vau- 
ban and de La Meth, commissioned by you and M. de Bé ville 
to be at this attack, and the Count de Damas, whose repu- 
tation, pure and well-known zeal, had alone prompted him 
to be there, entered the redoubt with the first grenadiers, 
and everywhere showed themselves to be true paladins. 
They have the essence of courage, which will some day be 
a fine example for the soldiers whom they will be charged to 
lead, and certainly of the greatest utility for the service of 
the King. The Chevalier de La Meth was wounded very 
seriously in both legs, after having mounted the parapet. 

MM. de Viomesnil, de St. Amand, de Chabannes, de 
Brentano, Desoteux, and de Pange, ray aides-de-camp, have 


deserved to be mentioned in general and in particular, for 
their ^distinguished conduct at that attack, and their prompt- 
ness in the execution of the orders I gave them during 
the night. 

The Chevalier de Menonville, aide-major-general, having 
himself led tv^o hundred workmen of the regiment of Soison- 
nois, who were going to push the second parallel as far as 
the redoubt carried by the Count William des Deuxponts. 
This work has been so well performed, under the direction 
of the Chevalier Doiré, so near the enemy, and so promptly, 
that I consider it just to give ten sous extra to each of the 
workmen. MM. de Turpin,^*^ and de Gouvion,^''' worked with 
the same success between the captured redoubts, and at the 
communication of the first and second parallel of the Ameri- 

The artillery had done wonders ' during the whole time 
which preceded the two attacks. M. d'Aboville and the 
commanders of batteries have even surpassed themselves in 
preparing for the success. 

I do not yet know the loss of the Americans ; when the 
Marquis de Lafayette and the Baron de Steuben shall have 
sent me the particulars, I shall hasten to address you; 
according to what they tell me, their loss is not much.^^ 

"^ A captain of engineers, who made the drawings of the Natural 
Bridge in Virginia, for the second volume of Chastellux's Travels. 

" Bre vetted colonel by Congress, Nov. 16, 1781, for distinguished 
conduct at the siege of Yorktown. 

S8 u rpijQ cause of the great loss sustained by the French troops, in 
comparison with that of the Americans, in storming their respective 
redoubts, was that the American troops, when they came to the abattis, 
removed a part of it with their hands, and leaped over the remainder. 
The French troops, on coming up to theirs, waited till their pioneers 
liad cut away the abattis, secundum artem, which exposed them longer 


The Count William has been wounded in the face, though 
slightly ; his conduct has been so brilliant, and his bravery 
so distinguished and so decisive, that I pray you, General, to 
obtain from the favor of the King for him the rank of brig- 

I ask you to procure the same rank for the Baron de 
L'Estrade, who has served for more than forty years, and 
who has given an example to the grenadiers and chasseurs 
of his regiment, worthy of the highest eulogy. The Count 
de Rostaing, colonel since the year 1770, being also very 
distinguished, if you would ask for him the rank of briga- 
dier, I am persuaded that it will not be refused. 

General Washington having appeared satisfied at the 
success of our attacks, there will remain to me nothing more 
to desire, if you will add your approbation of all that was 
done, during the time of my service in the trenches. 

I have the honor to be, with the most respectful attach- 
ment, general, 

Your very humble and very obedient servant, 

[Signed] Yiomesnil. 

Letter which was written to me by the Minister of War, 
on my return to France. 

Versailles, 5 December, 1781. 
Upon the account. Monsieur, which I have given to the 
King, of the valor and courage with which you have con- 
ducted yourself at the head of the grenadiers, which you 
commanded at the attack on a redoubt at Yorktown, his 
Majesty, to show you his full satisfaction, has deigned to 

to the galling fire of the enemy." Dr. Thacher's MilUanj Journal. 
2cl éd., p. 276. 


give you a place of chevalier in the military order of St. 
Louis, by special distinction, as you have not served the 
requisite time to be eligible. He accords to you, besides 
the assurance of one of the first regiments of dragoons, as 
soon as there is a vacancy. I pray you to be persuaded of 
the pleasure I take in announcing to you these favors. 

I have the honor to be, sir, your very humble and very 
obedient servant, 

[Signed] Ségdr. 


We give below tlie places of encampment, occupied by 
the French army on its way from Newport to Yorktown. 
It marched by regiments from Providence to Newtown, 
Conn., and thence by brigades. The dates refer to the 
encampments of the regiment, or of the brigade, to which 
Count William de Deux-Ponts belonged. The table does 
not differ materially from the route laid down by the Abbé 
Robin, in his Nouveau Voyage, pp. 222-4. According to 
his dates, the Abbé must have accompanied the regiment of 

June 10-18, 


Aug. 25, 




" 26, 


" 19, 

Waterman's Tavern. 

«' 27, 28 

Hanover or Whippany. 

" 20, 


" 29, 

Bullions' Tavern. 

" 21, 


" 30, 


" 22, 


" 31, 


" 23-25, 


Sept. 1, 


" 26, 


" 2, 

Red Lion Tavern. 

" 27, 

Baron's Tavern. 

" 3, 4, 


" 28, 

Break Neck. 

" 5, 


" 29, 30, 


" 6, 




" 7, 8, 


July 1, 


" 9, 

Qear the Ferry over the 

" 2, 



" 3-5, 

North Castle. 

" 10, 

Bush, Harford County. 

" 6-20, 


" 11, 

White Marsh. 

" 21, 

on the march. 

'« 12-15, 


" 22, 

near King's Bridge. 

" 16, 

Spurrier's Tavern. 

" 23 to Aug. 18, Phillipsburg. 

" 17, 

Scott's Plantation. 

Aug. 19, near Alexander Lark's. 

" 18-21, 


" 20, 

Leguid's Tavern. 

" 22-24, 

on board ships. 

" 21, 

Hound's Tavern. 

- 25, 

near Hogs Ferry. 

" 22, 23, 

Verplanck's Point. 

" 26,27, 


" 24, 


" 28, 

front of Yorktown. 


Aboviixe, m. de, 70, IGO. 

'■'■Abréijé de la Itévohition de V Amé- 
rique Anglaise," cited, 112 n. 

Af/enois, brigade of, at Yorlctown, 
49, 50, 134, 13G ; regiment of, iu 
the trendies, 54, 56, 140, 141, 
142; supports Deux-ronts iu 
his attack on the enemy's re- 
doubts, 58, 144 ; its loss in the 
capture of the redoubts, GO, G8, 
147, 158. 

'^Aigrette," frigate, at Annapolis, 
47, 132. 

"Alliance," frigate, arrival of, at 
Boston, 91 n. 

" Almanach de Gotha,'''' cited, x n. 

" Amazone," frigate, 3, 5, 8, 15, 
78, 80, 83, 85, 92; sails for 
Trance, 20, 97 ; chased by Eng- 
lish cruisers and dismasted, 97 

American army, union of, with the 
French forces at Phillipsburg, 
35, 116; force of the, ih. n. 

André, Major John, capture of, 
19 n, 96 n; his connection with 
Arnold in liis treason, 41, 124. 

" Andromaque," frigate. Count 
William de Deux- Ponts sails in 
the, for France, G3, 154 ; returns 
to James Eiver, 64, 154; sails 
again, 64, 155; chased, 65, 155; 
arrives in France, ih. 

Anhalt, regiment of, embarks for 
America, 1, 75. 

Annapolis, the grenadiers and 
chasseurs at, 46, 130 ; arrival of 
the *' Komulus " at, 46, 130 ; 

march of the army to, 47, 131, 
163; embarkation at, 47, 132, 

Anselme, M. d', 23, 102. 

Anspacli regiment, surrenders at 
Yorktown, 62, 151. 

Aruuthnot, Admiral Harriot, be- 
fore Charleston, 9, 10, 11, 84, 85, 
86 ; threatened attack by, on 
Newport, 16, 92, 93. 

"Ardent," the, 64-gun ship, 3, 23, 
28, 78, 102, 107 ; sails from 
Newport, 21. 99. 

Arnold, Benedict, treason of, 
19 ?i, 41, 96 m, 124; expedition 
against, 23, 24, 102. 103. 

" Astrée," frigate, arrival of the, 
at Boston, 23, 101. 

Auvergne, regiment of, 68, 158; 
address of the Count de Ro- 
chambeau to the grenadiers of 
the, 158 n. 

Baireitth regiment, surrenders at 
Yorktown, 62, 151. 

Baltimore, Md., 44, 127; arrival of 
the army at, 45, 128, 163. 

Barber's " Historical Collections 
of Connecticut," cited, 97 n. 

Baron's Tavern, lîochambeau's 
army at, 33, 113, 163. 

Barras, Count Louis de, arrival 
of, at Boston, 29, 108; at New- 
port, 30, 109; joins the Count 
de Grasse, 46, 130; in York 
River, 53 n, 159 n. 

" Bedford " 74-gun ship, dismasted, 
21, 99. 



Bedford (New Bedford), 29, 109. 

Bedford, the brigade of Bourbon- 
nbis at, 33, 114, 1G3, 

" Bellone," frigate, 3, 78 ; returns 
to Fi-ance, ib. 

Bermuda passed by the French 
squadron, 5, 80. 

Bernard (?) Count Deux-Ponts, 

Bekthelot, Capt. de, killed in the 
assault upon the redoubts at 
Yorktown, 60, 68, 147, 158. 

Betiiune, ix. 

BÉVILLE, M. de, 69, 159. 

Block Island, 17, 29, 94, 108. 

Bolton, Conn., Rochambeau's 
troops at, 32, 113, 163. 

Borodino, battle of, ix, x. 

Base, Hessian regiment of, sur- 
renders at Yorktown, 62, 151. 

'■^Boston Independent Ledger," 
cited, 132 n, 151 n. 

Boston, 12, 30, 88, 110. 

Bougainville, M. de, 131 n. 

Bourbonnois, brigade of, embarks 
at Newport for Providence, 31, 
111; grenadiers and chasseurs 
detached from the, 33, 114; 
leaves Newtown, ib. ; at Ridge- 
bury, Bedford and North Castle, 
33, 114; near King's Bridge, 38, 
120; crosses the Hudson, 41, 
124; at Haverstraw, i6. ; leaves 
the encampment, ib. ; ci'osses 
the Delaware at Princeton, 42, 
125 ; at Philadelphia, 43, 126 ; at 
Annapolis, 47, 131 ; at York- 
town, 49, 134; their place of 
encampment changed, 51, 136. 

Bourbonnois regiment, under or- 
ders for America, 1, 75; em- 
barks, 3, 77; goes into winter 
quarters at Newport, 20, 97; 
embarks for Providence, 31, 
111; leaves the camp at Provi- 
dence, 32, 113; breaks camp at 
Hartford, 33, 113; the battalion 
of grenadiers and chasseurs of 
the, forms the rear guard of the 
army, 41, 123; ordered on duty 
in the trenches before York- 
town, 53, 139 ; supports the at- 
tack on the enemy's redoubts, 

58, 68, 144, 158; in the trenches 
at the time of the capitulation 
of Cornwallis, 62, 151. 

Break Neck, Rochambeau's army 
at, 33, 113, 163. 

Brentano, M. de, 69, 159. 

Brenton's Point, B. I., IS, 95. 

Brest, French squadron blockaded 
in the harbor of, 91 n, 92 n. 

Brig, capture of an English, by 
the French squadron, 5, 80. 

" Bristol," 30-gun ship, 9 n, 84 ?i. 

Bristol, B. I., 90 n. 

British ier/ion surrenders at York- 
town, 62, 151. 

Brook River, 36, 117. 

Bullions' Tavern, encampment 
at, 42, 125, 163. 

Bush, Harford Co., Md., the array 
at, 44, 128, 163. 

Butler, Gen. Richard, his diary 
cited, xi. 


Campaign of 1780, 1, 75; of 1781, 
21, 99. 

" Campaigns of 1780 and 1781, 
History of the", cited, 146 n. 

Canonicrit Is]aud. See Connonicut. 

Cape Charles, 25, 63, 104, 153. 

Cajie François, 3d, 121. 

Cape Henry, 63, 153; arrival of the 
French squadron at, 10, 85; 
passed by the " Andromaque" 
on her way to France, 64, 155. 

Casimira, daughter of Baron 
Christian of Zweibriick, ix. 

Celto, Arianne, Baroness, x. 

Chabannes, M. de, 69, 159. 

Charles Augustus, dnke of Deux- 
Ponts-Birkenfeld, xiv, xv. 

Charles, Duke, of Zweibriick, ix. 

Charles, son of Count William de 
Deux-Ponts, x. 

Charles (Gustavus) X, elected 
King of Sweden in 1654, xiv. 

Charles Theodore, Elector Pal- 
atine, XV. 

Charleston, 8. C, siege and cap- 
ture of, 6, 80; " Siege of, by the 
British fleet and army" cited, 
80 n. 

" Charon," the, 50-gun ship, 22, 
100 ; burnt, 100 n. 



Chastellux, Marquis de, 55, 141, 
160 n; his "Voyages", cited, 
124 n, 127 n. 
Choisy, m. de, arrivai of at New- 
port, 19, yc ; appointed to pro- 
tect tlie anchorage of the squad- 
ron, 31, 111; at Yorktown, 52, 
138; attack upon, 55, 141. 
Christian, Baron of Zweibriick, 

ix; see Deux-Fonts. 
Christiax, Duke, of Zweibriick, 
Count Palatine and Duke of 
Deux-Pouts-Berkeufeld, viii, 
xiv, XV. 
Christian, son of Count William 

de Deux-Ponts, x. 
Chesapeake Bay, 10, 21, 22, 64, 85, 
86 n, 99, 100, 154 ; limited means 
of transportation in, 45, 129 ; 
engagement of the Count de 
Grasse with Admiral Graves, 
off, 47 n, 131 n, 132, ib. n. 
Chester, encampment at, 43, 126, 

Church's History of Philip's War, 

90 n. 
Clark, Lieut., R. N., a prisoner on 
board the " Diligente", 47, 132. 
Clinton, General Sir Henry, 19 
n, 41 ?i, 80 71, 96 n, 123 n; 
threatened attack on Rocham- 
beau at Newport by, 16, 17, 93 ; 
the design relinquished, 17, 94 ; 
embarks his troops in Hunting- 
ton Bay, ib. 
Clochettehie, M. de la, 83 n; 
commander of the "Jason", 28, 
107; killed, 107 71 ; notice of, i&. 
" Comtesse de Noaiîles", the, 3, 77. 
" Concorde", frigate, arrives at 
Boston, 29, 97 n, 108 ; off Cape 
Henry, 63, 153. 
Congress, honors to, by the French 

army, 43, 126. 
Connonicut Island, batteries erect- 
ed on, 16, 92, 93 ; abandoned by 
Eochambeau, 16, 93. 
" Conquérant,'" 74-gun ship, 8, 10, 

23, 27, 28, 77, 85, 101, 106, 107. 
Council of war on board the " Due 

de Burgogue," 30, 110. 
CoRNWALLis, Capt., li. N., 9 n, 84 

CoRNWALLis, Charles, Marquis, 
at Portsmouth, Va., 39, 122; 
his position the object of at- 
tack, 42, 125; his preparations 
for defence, 48, 134 ; his course 
during the siege criticised, 135 
n ; flag of truce from, 62, 150 ; ar- 
ticles of capitulation signed, 62, 
151 ; surrenders his sword to 
General Lincoln, 151 n; rein- 
forcements for, 64, 154. 

" Cormcallis," a, celebration of the 
surrender at Yorktown, 151 n. 

" CuUoden," 74-gun ship, loss of 
the, 21, 99. 

CusHiNG's Beports, cited, 151 n. 

CusTiNE, Adam Philippe, Count 
de, 16, 67, 93, 157; notice of, 
93 n, 127 n. 

Damas, Count Charles de, 146 n, 
a volunteer in the attack on the 
redoubts at Yorktown, 60, 147 ; 
his gallant conduct, 69, 159. 

Dawson, Henry B., 154 n, his 
" Battles of the United States," 
cited, xi. 

Desoteux, M., 69, 159. 

Destouches, M., 7 n, 27, 82 n, 105 ; 
takes command of the French 
squadron, 20, 98 ; sends an expe- 
dition to the Chesapeake, under 
M. de Tilley,22, 100 n ; return of 
the expedition, 25, 104; engage- 
ment with the English fleet near 
Cape Charles, 25—28, 104—108. 

Deux-Ponts, Baron Christian 
de, ix, XV, xvi, 5, 79; visits 
West Point in company with 
Lafayette, xii ; distinguished 
at Yorktown, x, xiii; his af- 
fection for his brother, 57, 143. 

Deux-Ponts, Count William de 
vii, ix, X, xi, xv ; distin- 
guished at Yorktown, x, xiii, 
XV ; wounded at Yorktown, x; 
his early life, XV ; his marriage, 
ib. ; made a chevalier of the or- 
der of St. Louis, xvi, 71, 162; 
ordered to report at Landernau, 
2, 76; arrives at Brest, 3, 77; 
embarks for America, ib., his de- 



parture from Brest, ib ; incidents 
ofthe voyage, 4— 14, 78— 90; ar- 
rival at Newport, 14, 90; recep- 
tion at Newport, 15, 91 ; on de- 
tached service, 16, 93 ; embarks 
for Providence, 31, 111 ; in camp 
at Providence, 31, 112; leaves 
Providence, 32, 113; at Hart- 
ford, 32, 113; at North Castle, 
34, 114; joins the American 
army at Phillipsburg, 35, 116; 
marches to King's Bridge, 37, 
120; commands the battalion 
of grenadiers and chasseurs of 
the brigade of Bourbonnois, 40, 
122 ; at Larlc's house, ib. ; at 
Leguid's tavern, 40, 123; his 
battalion forms the rearguard of 
the army, 41, 123; at Hound's 
Tavern, ib. ; in the advance 
guard of the army, ib. ; at Ha- 
verstraw, 41, 124; at Suflerns, 
42, 124 ; at Pompton, ib. ; at 
Hanover, Bullions' Tavern, 
Somerset and Princeton, 42, 125 ; 
crosses the Delaware at Prince- 
ton, ib. ; at Red Lion Tavern, 
ib. ; enters Philadelphia, 43, 
126 ; at Chester, ib. ; his impres- 
sions of Washington, ib. n. ; 
crosses the Susquehanna, 44 
128 ; at Bush and White Marsh, 
ib. ; arrives at Baltimore, 45, 
128 ; marches to Spurrier's Tav- 
ern, 46, 130 ; arrives at Annapo- 
lis, 47, 131 ; embarks at An- 
napolis, 47, 132; on board 
the " Diligente," ib. ; arrives 
at Lynn Haven Bay, 48, 
133 ; enters James River, ib. ; 
lands at Hog's Ferry, ib. ; en- 
camps at Williamsburg, ib. ; en- 
camps near Yorktown, 48, 134 ; 
on a reconnoissance with Ro- 
chambeau, 49, 135 ; makes a 
special reconnoissance to York 
River, 51, 137; m the trenches 
before Yorktown, 54, 140 ; com- 
mands the attack on the ene- 
my's redcmbts, 56, 143 ; the at- 
tack, 57, 144; the work carried, 
59, 145; his personal gallantry 
in the action, 146 n; slightly 

wounded, 60, 70, 147, 148 n, 161 ; 
detailed to carry the duplicate 
despatch announcing the surren- 
der of Cornwallis, to France, 68, 
152 ; embarks at Yorktown, 63. 
153; sails in the "Andromaque" 
for France, ib. ; returns to the 
James River, 64, 154; sets sail 
again, 64, 155 ; incidents of the 
voyage, 65, 155; arrives in 
France, ib. ; letter from the 
Baron de Viomesuil to, accom- 
panying his account of the at- 
tack on the redoubts at York- 
town, QQ, 156; commendation 
of his conduct by Viomesuil, 68, 
159 ; recommended for promo- 
tion, 70, 161 ; letter to, from the 
Count de Ségur, announcing liis 
elevation to the rank of Cheva- 
lier of the military order of St. 
Louis, 71, 162. 

Deux-Ponts, Town of, xiv. 

*' Diligente," frigate, at Annapolis, 
47, 132 ; Count William de Deux- 
Ponts embarks on the, ib. 

DoiRÉ, Chevalier, 69, 160. 

Doyle, Col., a prisoner on board 
the "Diligente," 47, 132. 

"Duc de Burgogne," 80-gnu ship, 
3, 5, 6 n, 7 n, 9, 23, 27, 77, 79, 
81 n, 82 n, 85, 101, 106; council 
of war on board the, 30, 110. 

Dumas, Lieut. Gen. Mathieu, 
Count de, 5, 79; "Souvenirs 
de," cited, 79 n, 80 n, 83 n, 86 
n, 87 n, 89 n, 91 n, 111 n, 117 n, 
131 n, 147 n, 152 n. 

"Ecureuil," the, ship of war, 3, 

Eightieth regiment of Highlanders 

surrenders at Yorktown, 62, 151. 
Eleonore, daughter of Baron 

Christian of Zweibriick, ix. 
Elizabeth river, 22, 100. 
Elk ridge, 130 n. 

Elkton, the army at, 44, 127, 163. 
Elliot, Col., 14, 89. 
" Europa," 64-gun ship, 9, 84. 
" Eveille," 64-guu ship, 3, 6, 10, 11 

n, 21, 23, 25, 77, 81, 85, 86 n, 89 



n, 99, 102, 104; captures the 
" Romulus" aud other prizes, 22, 
EvERKTT, Edward, his " Orations" 
cited, 75 n. 

" Fantasque" hospital ship, 23, 

25, 26, 102, 10-1, 105. 
Farmington, Conn., Rocliambeau's 

army at, 33, 113, 1G3. 
Finistère, Cape, passed by the 

French squadron, 5, 79. 
Fire in the woods near the camp 

at Windham, 32 n, 113 n. 
FoNTENAY, Mile, de, viii. 
Foraging at Mainaronecli and New 

Rochelle, 39, 121. 
FoRBACH, Baroness von, viii. 
FoRBACii, Christian, Count de, x, 

XV. See Deux-Punts. 
FoRBACH, Guillaume, Count de, 

X, XV. See Deux-Ponts. 
FoRBACH, Madame de, xiii, xiv. 
" Fort No. 8," 38, 120. 
Forty-third regiment of the British 

army surrenders at Yorktown, 

62, 151. 
Franklin, Benjamin, LL. D., his 

will cited, xiii. 
French troops sent to America, 1, 


Games, M. de, 23, 102. 

Gardner's Bay, 21, 99; the Eng- 
lish squadron sails from, 23, 102. 

Gatinois, regiment of, detailed for 
duty in the trenches before 
Yorlitown, 54, 55, 140, 141 ; in 
the attaclv led by Deux-Ponts 
on the enemy's redoubts, 57, 
67, 68, 144, 148 n, 157, 158; loss 
In the capture of the redoubts, 
GO, 147. 

Gazette de France, supplement à la, 
cited, 154 n, 155 n. 

" Gentille,'" frigate, arrival of, at 
Newport, 19, 96; sails from 
Newport, 21, 99; returns, in 
company with tlie " Eveille " 
and her prize, 21, 100; at An- 
napolis, 47, 132. 

Gist, "W., letter from, to General 
Washington, cited, 132 n. 

Gloucester, Va., sortie from, 52, 
137; occupied by the French 
troops, 63, 152. 

Goat Island, Newport Harbor, 24, 
25, 103. 

GouviON, M. de, 69, 160; notice 
of, 160 n. 

Grandièrk, Charles Marie, Count 
de la, 28, 107 ; notice of, 107 n. 

Grasse, François Joseph Paul, 
Count de, 80 n; arrival of, in 
America, 39, 121 ; intelligence 
of his arrival received by the 
allied army, 43, 46, 126, 129 ; his 
action with Admiral Graves's 
squadron, 47 n, 131 n; his fleet 
in James River, 64, 154. 

Gravenreutii, Count, ix. 

Graves, Thomas, Admiral, 10,11, 
46, 85, 86, 130 ; his engagement 
with the squadron of the Count 
de Grasse, 47 n, 131 ?i. 

Guards, 1st battalion of, surren- 
der at Yorktown, 62, 151. 

" Giiepe," The, cutter, S, 78; sails 
from Newport, 21, 99 ; loss of 
the, 28, 108. 

GuiciiEN, Count de, departure of 
his fleet from the West Indies, 
19, 96. 


Hampton, F«., occupied by French 
troops, 63, 152. 

Hanover, encampment at, 42, 125, 

Hartford, Conn., Rochambeau's 
ariny at, 32, 113, 163. 

Haverstraw, the brigade of Bour- 
bonnois at, 41, 124, 163. 

'' Head of Elk," U, 127. 

Heath, Gen. AVilliam, his " Me- 
moirs" cited, xii, 121 n; letter 
from, to Gen. Washington, 
cited, 91 n; at Verplauck's 
Point, 41, 124. 

" Hector," 74-gnn ship, 9 n, 84 n. 

'' Hermione," frigate, 15, 28, 92, 
108; sails from Newport on a 
cruise, 20, 97; at Boston, 20, 
98; in the expedition to the 



Chesapeake, 25, 28, 104, 107 ; off 
Cape Henry, 63, 152. 

Hessian regimeuts surrender at 
Yorktown, 62, 151. 

Hessians at King's Bridge, 38, 120. 

"Historical Ilagazine," cited, xi, 
101 n. 

^^Histonj of the Campaigns o/1780 
and 1781," cited, 146 n. 

Hog's Ferry, landing and encamp- 
ment at, 48, 133, 163. 

HoHENLiNDEN, Baron Christian, 
of Zweibruck, at the battle of, 

Hood, Admiral Sir Samuel, arri- 
val of, at Sandy Hook, 46, 129. 

Hound's Tavern, encampment at, 
41, 123, 163. 

Hudson Biver, 32, 34, 35, 41, 112, 
116, 117 n, 123; crossed by the 
army, 41, 123. 

Huntington Bay, L. I., embarka- 
tion of Clinton in, 17, 94. 

Iris," frigate, captured from the 
English, 47, 132. 
Isle de France," transport, 13, 
21, 89, 99. 

James Biver, Arnold on the, 21, 
99 ; troops of M. St. Simon land 
at the, 131 n\ troops from An- 
napolis enter the, 48, 133 ; diffi- 
culties of navigating the, ih. 

" Jason," the, ship-of-war, 3, 23, 
28, 77, 102, 107. 

Jefferson, Thomas, xii, n. 

Jesse's " Life of George the 
Third;' cited, 152 n. 

King, Dr. David, 90 n. 

King's Bridge, 36, 117; the Ameri- 
can and French forces near, 38, 
120, 163. 

Lafayette, Maj.-Gen. Gilbert Mo- 
tier de, 70, 160; visits West 
Point, xi; his influence in send- 
ing the army of Kochambeau to 

America, 1, 75 ; commands the 
laud forces in an expedition 
against Arnold, 23, 102 ; joined 
by the troops under the Marquis 
de St. Simon, 43, 126; com- 
mands an attack on a redoubt 
near York River, 58, 67, 145 ; suc- 
cess of the attack, 148 n, 157. 

" Lamb, Gen. John, Memoir of," 
cited, 147 n. 

La Meth, Chevalier de, wounded 
in the assault on the redoubts 
at Yorktown, 60, 69, 147, 148 n, 
159; his gallant conduct, 69, 

Lark, Alexander, halt of the rear 
guard at his house, 40, 122, 

Landernau, the royal regiment of 
Deuxponts at, 2, 76. 

Lauzun, Duke de, bearer of de- 
spatches to Washington, 30, 110 ; 
his return, 31, 111; in the un- 
successful attack of Lincoln, 
July 3, 1781, 35 n, 116 ?i; his re- 
pulse of Tarletou's cavalry, 52, 

Lauztm, Legion of, under orders 
for America, 1, 75 ; embarks for 
America, 3, 77 ; encampment of, 
at Newport, 14, 16, 90, 93 ; can- 
toned at Lebanon, Conn., 20, 97 ; 
a detachment from, embarked, 
29, 108; at Bedford, 34, 114; en- 
gaged in an expedition under 
Gen. Lincoln, ib.; failure of the 
expedition, 35. 116; encamped 
at White Plains, 36, 117; at 
Morrisania, 38, 120 ; crosses the 
Hudson, 41, 123; marches from 
Haverstraw, 41, 124; embarks 
at Elkton, 44, 127; attacked by 
Tarleton, 52, 137. 

Laval, Marquis de, 23, 45, 102, 
128 ; at Yorktown, 49, 134. 

Lebanon, Conn., the legion of 
Lauzun cantoned at, 20, 97. 

Le Gardeur de Tilly, 100 n. 

Legnid's Tavern, halt of the rear 
guard at, 40, 123, 163. 

L'Estrade, Baron de, second in 
command in the attack on the 
redoubts at Yorktown, 56, 66, 



67, 08, G9, 70, 143, 148 n, 156, 
157, 159, 161 ; recommended for 
promotion, 70, 161. 

Light infantrii regiment surren- 
ders at Yorktown, 62, 151. 

LiNANGES, Countess of, 2, 76. 

Lincoln, Maj.-Geu, Benjamin, 
commands an expedition against 
Fort Washington, 34, 115; his 
unsuccessful attacli on the Brit- 
ish, July 3, 1781, 35, 116; re- 
ceives the sword of Cornwallis, 
at Yorktown, 151 n. 

'^Lion," the, 64-gun ship, 9 n, 84 n. 

" Loire," the, ship-of-war, 3, 77. 

^'■London," the, 98-gun ship, 12, 
27, 52, 88, 106, 138. 

LossiNG, Benson J., his "Pictor- 
ial field book of tlie American 
Eevolutiou," cited, xii, xiii, 
124 n. 

LotJis, of Bavaria, Emperor of 
Germany, xv. 

Louis I., King of Bavaria, xv. 


Macphersox, commander of the 
redoubt near Yorktown, 58 n, 
145 n ; his escape, 68, 158. 

Ilamaroneck, 39, 121. 

Marie Antoinette, Queen of 
France, ix, n. 

Marigny, M. de, commander of 
the " Ardent," 28, 107. 

Martha's Vineyard, 17, 89 n, 94. 

Massachusetts, requisition for the 
militia of, 31, 112. 

Maulevkier, Chevalier de, 23, 28, 
101, 108. 

Maximilian, Prince, of Deux- 
Ponts, afterwards Maximilian 
I, King of Bavaria, viii, ix, x, 
xii, xiv, XV. 

Maximilian, present Duke of Ba- 
varia and Deux-Ponts, xv. 

Maximilian - Joseph, order of 
knighthood of, ix. 

Mayer, Brantz, 128 n, extract 
from a letter of, 130 7i. 

Menonville, Chevalier de, 69, 160. 

Middle Ground Banks, 63, 153. 

Mohaisk (Borodino), battle of, ix, 

Moreneck, see Mamaroneck. 
Morrisania, 38, 120. 


Nantucket shoals, 13, 89. 

Napoleon I., emperor, xiii. 

Natriral Bridge in Virginia, IGO 

" Neptune," the, 74 gun-ship, 3, 6, 
7, 23, 27, 77, 81, 82, 101, 106; 
partly dismasted, 4, 78 ; council 
of war on board the, 31, 111. 

Neustrie, regiment of, embarks 
for America, 1, 75. 

" New American Cyclopœdia," 
cited, 125 n. 

New Bedford (Bedford), 29, 109. 

Neiv London, Conn., 17, 94. 

Newport, B. I., arrival of the 
French squadron at, 14, 90; en- 
campment at, ih. ; preparations 
for departure from, 30, 109 ; em- 
barkation of the army for Prov- 
idence, 31, 111; march of the 
army from, to Yorktown, 163. 

New Bochelle, 39, 121. 

Newtown, Rochambeau's army at, 
33, 113, 163. 

New Windsor, Washington leaves 
his winter quarters at, 34, 115. 

New York, threatened movement 
against, by Washington, 17, 42, 
94, 125. 

" Niger," frigate, 9 n, 84 n. 

Noailles, Viscount de, in com- 
mand of the second battalion of 
the regiment of Soisonnois, on 
Connonicut, 16, 93; reinforced 
by American militia, ih. ; attach- 
ed to Viomesnil's expedition, 
23, 102. 

No Man's Island, 13, 89. 

North Castle, the Bourbonnois 
brigade at, 34, 115; Gen. Wash- 
ington at, 35, 116; departure of 
the brigade from, ib. ; the army 
at, 40, 123, 163. 

North Biver, 35, 42, 116, 124. See 
Hudson Biver. 

Operations of the French fleet un- 
der the Count de Grasse in 1781- 



2," cited, 80 n, 88 n, 100 n, 107 n, 
112 n, 127 n, 131 ?i, 132 n, 133 n, 
153 n. 
Ortegal, Cape, the Freuch sqnad- 
rou oflf, 4, 78. 

Pange, M. de, 69, 159. 
Pappasquash, hospital established 

at, 14, 90 ; notice of the place, 

90 n. 
Passaic, Falls of the, 124 n. 
Patterson, JSf. J., 124 7i. 
Paulding, John, one of the cap- 
tors of André, 96 îi. 
Faidus Hook (now Jersey city) , 

42, 125. 
Pennsylvania Historical Society, x. 
Peyrouse, M. de la, 97 n. 
Philadelphia, arrival of the French 

army at, 43, 126, 163. 
Phillipshury, union of the French 

and American armies at, 35, 116, 

163; the French army leaves, 

39, 121. 
Pilots from Martha's Vineyard 

conduct the Freucli squadron to 

Rhode Island, 89 n. 
Pines' Bridge, the army at, 40, 

Plainfiekl, Conn., Rochambeau's 

troops at, 32, 113, 163. 
Point Judith, 14, 16, 17, 29, 89, 93, 

94, 108, 109. 
POLASTRON, Yolande Martine Ga- 

brielle de, Duchess de Polignac, 

ix n. 
Polignac, Melchior de, ix. 
Polignac, Prince Jules de, ix n. 
Pompton, Washington at, 17, 94 ; 

the French army at, 42, 124, 

Princeton, iV. J., encampment at, 

42, 125, 163. 
" Provence," the, 64-gun-ship, 3, 

23, 78, 102 ; partially dismasted, 

4, 78. 
Providence, B. L, the brigade of 

Bourbonnois embarks at New- 
port for, 31, 111, 163. 
" Prudent," Englisli man-of-war, 

injured in the action with the 

Frencli fleet, 52, 138. 

" Queen Charlotte," packet, cap- 
tured by the French squadron, 
47, 133. 

Queen's Bangers, surrender of, at 
Yorktown, 62, 151. 


'^ Baisonnable," 64-gun ship, 9, 

Ravknel, M. de, 64, 155. 

Rawdon, Lord, a prisoner on 
board the "Diligeute," 47, 132. 

Rechberg, Count Anton, ix. 

Rechberg, Caroline, Countess, x. 

" Becollections and private memoirs 
of Washington," cited, 132 n. 

Becruits, arrival of, from Boston, 
32, 113. 

Bed Lion Tavern, encampment at, 
42, 125, 163. 

" Benoion," 50-gun ship, 9, 84. 

Renwick, Prof. James, his "Life 
of Count Rumford," cited, xii. 

Bhode Island, the destination of 
the French fleet, 12, 88 ; arrival 
of the squadron at, 13, 89; re- 
quisition for the militia of, 31, 

'■'■Bhode Island Colonial Becords," 
cited, 102 n. 

" Bichmond," frigate, captured 
from the English, 47, 132. 

Bidgehiiry, the brigade of Bour- 
bonnois at, 33, 114, 163. 

Robin, Abbé C. C, 163; his arri- 
val at Boston, 112 n; his "Nou- 
veau Voyage," etc., cited, xi, 
127 n, 163. 

" i?o5?<s«," 74-gun ship, 9, 84; in- 
jured in action, 52. 138. 

RocnAMBEAU, Jean Baptiste Don- 
alien de Vimeur, Count de, x, 
xii, xiii, xvi, 1, 5, 17, 29, 39, 43, 
44, 45, 61, 66, 75 n, 79, 94, 108, 
112, 127, 129, 148, 156; embark- 
ation of his forces, 3, 77; "Mé- 
moires." etc., cited, 84 n, 86 n, 
91 71, 97 n, 107 n, 112 n, 150 n, 
152 n; lands and encamps at 
Newport, 14, 90 ; the second di- 
vision of his army blockaded at 
Brest, 91 ?i; anticipated attack 



on his position at Newport, 15, 
92 ; abaiicloiisConnonicut I^iland, 
]6, 93 ; liis interview with Wash- 
ington at Hartford, 18, 94 ; goes 
into winter quarters, at New- 
port, 20, 97 ; leaves Newport for 
an interview with Washington 
at Wethersfleld, 30, 109; re- 
cruits for, arrive at Boston, 32, 
112; embarkation of his army 
for Providence, 31, 111; the 
march to Hartford, 32, 113; 
union with the American army, 
under Washington, at Phillips- 
burg, 35, 116; reviews the 
American army, 117 n; recon- 
noissance by, 38, 120; at York- 
town, 49, 134 ; reconnoitres the 
enemy's works, 49, 135 ; his re- 
port of the capture of the re- 
doubts, 148 n ; his army ordered 
into winter quarters in Vir- 
ginia, 63, 152; details Count 
William de Deux- Ponts to carry 
the duplicate of the news of the 
capture of Cornwallis to France, 

RocHAMBEAU, Viscount, Icavcs 
America for Prance, 20, 97 ; no- 
tice of, ib., 11] relieved by the 
Count de Barras, 29, 108. 

Rodney, Admiral Sir George 
Brydges, arrival of, at Sandy 
Hook, 17, 94; his movements, 
19, 96. 

" Eomuhis," 44-gun ship ; capture 
of the. 21, 22, 100, 101, attached 
to the French squadron, 23, 47, 
102, 132. 

Bose Island, 18, 95. 

RosTAiNG, Count de, at Yorktown, 
58, 67, 144, 157 ; his gallant con- 
duct at the attack on the re- 
doubts, 68, 158, 159; recom- 
mended for promotion, 70, 161. 

Jîoijal Deuxponts, regiment, x, xi, 
xiii, 19, 96 ; ordered to embark 
for America, 1, 75; at Lander- 
nau, 2, 76 ; at Brest, 3, 77 ; em- 
barkation of, ib. ; leaves Newport 
for Providence, 31, 111; leaves 
Providence, 32, 113; breaks 
camp at Hartford, 33, 113 ; a de- 

tachment from, occupies tlie re- 
doubts abandoned by the Eng- 
lish at Yorktown, 50, 136 ; ou 
duty in the trenches, 54, 55, 56, 
140, 141, 142; detailed for the 
attack on the cuemv's redoubts, 
56, 57, 142, 144, 148 n ; loss in 
the capture of the redoubts, 60, 
68, 147, 158; in the trenches at 
the time of the capitulation, 62, 

" Utibi/," 64-gun ship, 9 n, 83 n, 
84 n. 

Rush, Hon. Richard, x. 

" Hussel," 74-gun ship, 9, 84. 

Saint Onr/e, regiment of, embarks 
for America, 1, 75; at Newport, 
16, 93; leaves Providence, 32, 
113; breaks campât Hartford, 
33, 113; in the trenches before 
Yorktown, 54, 56, 140, 141, 142. 

St. Pierre, M. de, 100 n. 

St. Seniox, Baron de, at York- 
town, 48, 50, 134, 136. 

St. Simon, Marquis de, landing of 
his troops, 43, 126, 131 n; em- 
barkation of his division, 64,154. 

Sanely Hook, arrival of Admiral 
Rodney at, 17, 94; arrival of 
Admiral Hood at, 46, 129. 

" Savage," British frigate, 119 n. 

Saxony, Queen of, xv. 

Schuylkill Hiver, 43, 126. 

ScoWs Plantation, encampment at, 
46, 130 71, 131, 163. 

Sc7irvy, ravages of, among the 
French troops, 15, 91. 

SÉGUR, Philip Henry, Marquis de, 
letter to Count William de Deux- 
Ponts, announcing his being 
made a chevalier of the military 
order of St. Louis, 71, 162. 

" Serpent," cutter, 3, 78, returns 
to France, 5, 79. 

Seventeenth regiment of the Brit- 
ish army surrenders at York- 
town, 62, 151. 

Seventy-first Highlanders surren- 
ders at Yorktown, 62, 151. 

Seventy-sixth Highlanders surren- 
ders at Yorktown, 62, 151. 



Shea, John G., 80 n. 

Sheldon, Col. Elisha, his regi- 
ment of dragoons, 35, 116; no- 
tice of, 116 n. 

" Shreioshury ," English ship of 
war, p2, 138. 

Sickness in the French squadron, 
12, 15, 88, 91. 

SiLLEGUE, M, de, 59 n, 145 n\ 
wounded, 60, 68, 147, 158. 

SiREUXL, Capt. de, mortally- 
wounded in the attack upon the 
redoubts at Yorktown, 60, 68, 
147, 148 n, 158. 

Smith, Joshua Hett, his connec- 
tion with Arnold's treason, 41, 
124 ; notice of, 124 n. 

Soissonnois, brigade of, 111 n; 
encamps at Providence, 31, 112. 

iSoissonnois regiment, 163 ; under 
orders for America, 1, 75; em- 
barks, 3, 77; second battalion 
of the, on Connonicut, 16, 93 ; 
goes into winter quarters at 
Newport, 20, 97 ; at Providence, 
31, 112; leaves Providence, 32, 
113; breaks camp at Hartford, 
33, 113; at North Castle, 34, 
114; on the banks of the Cro- 
ton, 41, 123; marches from Ha- 
verstraw, 41, 124 ; at Yorktown, 
49, 134 ; on duty in the trenches, 
53, 54, 69, 139, 140, 160. 

Somerset, encampment at, 42, 125, 

Sophia, Archduchess, of Austria. 


Sparks, Jared, LL.D., his 
" American Biography" cited, 
xii ; his "Life of Franklin" cited, 
xii, xiii; his "Washington" 
cited, 89 n, 91 n, 92 n, 97 n, 100 
n, 149 n, 150 n; his "Corre- 
spondence of the Revolution," 
cited, 91 n. 

Spurrier's Tavern, encampment 
at, 46, 130, 163 ; notice of, 130 n. 

Staten Island, 17, 42, 94, 125. 

Steuben^, Frederic, Baron, 67, 70, 
157, 160. 

Sufferns, encampment at, 42, 124, 

" Sultan," 74-guu ship, 9 n, 84 n. 

" Surveillante," the^ frigate, 3, 5, 8, 
9, U n, 15, 20, 23, 28, 78, 79, 83, 
84, 85, 86 n, 92, 97, 108 ; at Bos- 
ton, 20, 98 ; sails from Newport, 
21,99, 102; return of, 21. 100. 

SusT^uehanna, the army crosses 
the, 44, 128, 163. 

Tappan Sea, 117 n. 

Tarletox, Lt.-Col. Banastre, his 
"History of the Campaigns of 
1780 and 1781" cited, xiii, 135 
n ; sortie by his cavalry, 52, 137 ; 
repulsed, 52, 138 ; wounded, 
138 n. 

Tarrytovon, expedition of British 
frigates to, 37, 118; return of 
the expedition to New York, 37, 
119; attack upon, at Dobbs' 
Ferry, ih. 

Terxay, Chevalier de, commander 
of the French squadron, 3, 4, 8, 
9, 13, 29, 77, 78, 84, 88, 89, 108; 
his engagement with an English 
fleet under Capt.Cornwallis, 7,9, 
82, 84; his extreme caution, 11, 
86; death of, 20, 98 ; burial of, 
98 n. 

" Terrible," 74-gun ship ; blown 
up, 52, 138. 

Thacher's " Military Journal," 
cited, 117 n, 118 n, 119 n, 122 n, 
125 n, 135 n, 136 n, 137 n, 160 n. 

Thirty-third regiment of the British 
army surrenders at Yorktown, 
62, 151. 

Thompson, Benjamin, Count Rum- 
ford, Renwick's life of, cited, xii. 

Thuillières, Capt. de, arrival of, 
at Newport, 19, 96. 

TiCKNOR, George, viii. 

Tilly, M. le Gardeur de, 81 n; 
expedition to the Chesapeake 
under, 22, 100; his return to 
Rhode Island, 22, 101 ; notice of, 
100 n; engagement with the 
English squadron, 25, 104. 

Totoha Falls, 42 n, 124 n. 

Touraine, regiment of, on special 
duty at Yorktown, 53, 139. 

Trenton, the array crosses the 
Delaware at, 42, 125, 163. 



Trujibull, Col. John, his picture 
of the surreiider of Coruwallis, 
xii, xiii; his "Keminiscences" 
cited, xii n, xiii. 

Tkumbull, Gov. Jonathan, of 
Connecticut, 97 n. 

Tru.mbull, J. Hammond, 90 m. 

TuRPiN, M. de, 69, 160 ; notice of, 
160 n. 

Ticentii-third regiment of the Brit- 
ish army surrenders at York- 
town, 62, 151. 

" Two letters respecting the conduct 
of Bear Admiral Graves" cited, 
15-i n, 155 n. 

Valette, Lt.-Col. de la, 16, 93; 
commands the brigade of Soi- 
sonnois, 40, 122. 

Van AVart, Isaac, one of the cap- 
tors of André, 96 n. 

Vaubax, Count de, at the capture 
of the redoubts before York- 
town, 60, 14:8 ; his gallant con- 
duct, 69, 159. 

Vaughan, General, 80 n. 

" Venus" the, French ship of war, 
3, 77. 

Vebplanck's Point, camp at, 41, 
123, 163; Gen. Heath at, 42, 

" Ville de Paris," the, 1 10- gun ship, 
63, 153; notice of, 153 ?i. 

ViLLEBRUNE, Capt. dc la, arrives 
at Annapolis, 46, 130. 

ViOMESNiL, Baron de, xi, 148 n ; 
report by, to the Count de 
Eochambeau, xv ; in temporary 
command of the army at New- 
port, 18, 95 ; his preparation for 
defence, ib. ; expedition under, 
sails from Newport, 23, 102; 
proceeds to Providence, 31, 111 ; 
review of the troops by, 32, 
113; in command of the rear 
guard of the army, 40, 122; halt 
at Lark's house, ib. ; his limited 
means of transportation at Bal- 
timore, 45, 128; he determines 
to march his troops to Virginia, 

45, 129 ; marches to Annapolis, 

46, 131 ; reconnoissance by, 50, 

136; advances his patrols, 52, 
138 ; orders an attack on the 
enemy's redoubts, 56, 142; his 
measures for the defence of the 
captured redoubts, 60, 146 ; let- 
ter from, to Count William de 
Deux-Ponts, 16 October, 1781, 
66, 156 ; account rendered to the 
Count de Rochamboau of the 
attack on the redoubts at York- 
town, 67, 157. 

ViOMESNiL, M. de, aide-de-camp, 
69, 159. 

ViRiEN, Henriette, Marquise, x. 


Washington, Gen. George, 33, 42, 
114, 124; letter from, cited, xi; 
bequest to, in Dr. Franklin's will, 
xiii; his thi'eatened movement 
against New York, 17, 94; his 
interview with Rochambeau at ^ 

^ Hartford, 18, 94 ; his arrival at 
Newport, 23, 101; received with 
the honors of a Marshal of 
France, ib. ; leaves Newport, 
24, 103; interview with Rocham- 
beau at Wethersfield, 30, 109 ; 
at New Windsor, 30, 31, 110, 
1 1 1 ; makes a requisition for the 
militia of Massachusetts and 
Rhode Island, 31, 112; leaves 
New AVindsor for Peekskill, 34, 
115 ; plans an attack upon Clin- 
ton, ib. ; covers the retreat of 
Lincoln's forces, 35, 116; union 
of the French and American 
armies at Phillipsburg, ib. ; re- 
views the French troops, 36, 
117 ; reconnoissance by, 38, 120 ; 
leaves Verplanck's Point, 41, 
124 ; impression of his charac- 
ter, as received by Count Wil- 
liam de Deux- Ponts, 43 n, 126 n ; 
letter from W. Gist to, cited, 
132 n; at Williamsburg, ib.; 
advances the American lines at 
Yorktown, 49, 134; gives to the 
regiments of Agenois and Deux- 
ponts two pieces of captured 
ordnance, in testimony of their 
gallantry, 147 n; extract from a 
letter of, 149 n, 150 n ; his sat- 


isfaction at the success of the 
attacks, 70, 161. 

Washington, Gen. George. " iie- 
collections and Private Ilemoirs 
of, cited, 132 ?i. 

Waterman's Tavern, the army at, 
32, 113, 163. 

Watson's "Atinals of Philadel- 
phia" cited, 126 n. 

West Point, 42, 124. 

Whippany, 42, 125, 163. 

White Marsh, Md., the army at, 
44, 128, 163. 

William, Baron of Zweibruck, ix. 

WiixiAM, Count de Deux-Ponts, 
vii, ix ; see Deux-Ponts. 

William, Duke of Bavaria and 
Deux-Ponts, xiv. 

Williams, David, one of the cap- 
tors of André, 96 n. 

Williamsburg, Washington at, 132 
n; the army encamped at, 48, 
13.', 163; march of the army 
from to Yorktowu, 48, 134, 163; 
occupied by French troops, 63, 

Wilmington, Del., encampment at, 
43, 127, 163. 

Windham, Conn., Eochambeau's 
troops at, 32, 113, 163; lire in 
the woods near the camp, ib. n. 

Wittgenstein, Count, ix, 


Yankee Doodle, played at the sur- 
render of Coruwallis, 151 n. 

York Island, 38, 120. 

York Biver, 44, 53, 127, 139 ; at- 
tack on a redoubt near, 68, 144. 

Yorktowu, Trumbull's painting of 
the capitulation at, xii, xiii; 
Count AVilliam de Deux-Ponts 
distinguished at, xiii ; captured 
privateers taken to, 22, 100; the 
"Charon," frigate, burned at, 100 

n ; siege of, 111 ?i, 131 n ; encamp- 
ment of the allied army near, 48, 
134, 163 ; advance of the Ameri- 
can lines, 49, 134 ; evacuation of 
the English advanced posts, ib. ; 
reconnoissance by Eochambeau, 
49, 135 ; by Viomesnil, 50, 136 ; 
occupation of the abandoned 
redoubts, ib. ; the enemy's fire 
slackened, 51, 137; sortie by 
Tarleton, repulsed by Lauzun, 
52, 138; advance of the patrols, 
ib. ; opening of the trenches, 53, 
139 ; details for duty in the 
trenches, 54, 140; opening of 
the batteries, ib. ; construction 
of the second parallel, 55, 141 ; 
attack on a redoubt, 68, 145; 
the work carried, 59, 146 ; casu- 
alties in the assault, 60, 147; 
the second parallel completed, 

61, 149; sortie by the enemy, 
ib. ; a flag of truce from Lord 
Cornwallis, 62, 150; articles of 
capitulation signed, ib. ; the 
English army prisoners of war, 

62, 151 ; the anniversary of the 
surrender celebrated, 151 n; 
number of prisoners captured, 
62, 152 ; the French army goes 
into winter quarters near, ib. ; 
letter from the Baron de Vio- 
mesnil to Count William de 
Deux-Ponts, written from, 66, 
156; account by the Baron de 
Viomesnil of the attack on the 
redoubts at, 67, 157; route of 
march of the army from New- 
port to, 163. 

Zweibruck, Barons of, viii. See 

Zweibrucken, town of, xiv.